Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bargarh, Aug 31:
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee chief Prasad Harichandan on Sunday squarely blamed the state government for farmer suicides in the state.
A day after a farmer committee suicide here by consuming pesticide, Harichandan visited the house of the deceased farmer and met his family members.
In a press conference held in this western Odisha town, Harichandan said: “One more farmer—Srikant Mahananda—has committed suicide yesterday by consuming pesticide. We had visited his village. It has pained us all. The farmers’ woes are directly proportional to farm yield because the more the production, the more is the expenditure on it and the farmer is getting less returns. The government is not increasing the minimum support price of the agricultural produces and the farmers are incurring huge losses. AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi will be visiting Odisha next month. We would hit the streets for the rights of the farmers.”
While the Opposition Congress was furious on the government, the ruling party however made light of it.
“OPCC president Prasad Babu should first bring his newly-formed team under his control. The Congress legislators had boycotted the Assembly when important issues like the drought situation were being taken up in the House for discussion during adjournment motions. Had they participated in it, the farmers’ issues could have been discussed. The government would have got an opportunity to receive suggestions and unanimous proposals on it. Rahul Ganhi has launched farmers’ rallies in Haryana and Bihar in the past and has proved himself. We welcome the farmers’ agitation to be launched by Prasad Babu,” BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera said.
Almost a fortnight ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Bargarh, the district Congress committee is busy preparing various programmes to be addressed by the Gandhi scion.
OPCC president was here to oversee the preparations for Rahul’s visit.
During his visit, Harichandan also met family members of three deceasded farmers in Kadlipali under Barpali block, Adgaon under Bargarh block and Debahal under Attabira block.
While two farmers–Harihar Budhia and Sananda Kathar–allegedly committed suicide over crop loss, Bira Bhosagar of Adgaon died of heart attack after failing to sell his paddy produce.