Bhubaneswar, Dec 2:
Holding the Odisha government solely responsible for the death of farmers in the state, leader of opposition in the state assembly Narasingha Mishra on Wednesday slammed the Naveen Patnaik-led government for being indifferent towards the plight of farmers.
Moving an adjournment motion on farmers’ suicides and the lackadaisical attitude of the government, Mishra said a total of 141 farmers have committed suicide in the state due to crop loss and loan burden.
“Drought is nothing new for the state. Earlier, some farmers had committed suicide but not in such a large number. This government is totally unconcerned about farmers’ suicides and has failed to protect their lives,” said the senior Congress leader.
Claiming that the report of district collectors over farmers’ suicide deaths is false, he demanded a judicial probe or house committee probe to unearth the truth.
He also demanded compensation of Rs.20 lakh for the families of the deceased farmers and Rs.20,000 per acre in the drought-affected areas.
Mishra also lashed out at the government for failing to keep its promise on providing agricultural loan at one percent interest and free electricity to the farmers.
He said the farmers have lost confidence in the government for having hoodwinked them.
“Did you not promise that you would provide free electricity? Have you given it to the farmers? On the contrary, the farmers are asked to pay higher tariff. You betrayed them. Is it pro-farmer policy of the government,” said Mishra, seeking a statement by the chief minister in the house.
Mishra also sought constitution of an all-party panel at the district-level in the state to take stock of the grim situation so that some positive steps can be taken.
According to him, such a step will “send good message among the aggrieved farmers”. (IANS)