Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 15:
Controversial BJD leader and Binjharpur MLA Pramila Mallick today kicked up a political storm after she advised opposition parties to provide sweets of immortality (Amara Ladoo) to farmers of Odisha so that they won’t die anymore.
The Biju Mahila Janata Dal President made the highly undesirable comment while speaking to reporters today regarding rising cases of farmer suicide in the state in general and an allegation of farmer suicide in her constituency in particular.
Besides, she accused the opposition members of providing misleading facts on farmer suicides in the state and challenged them to prove any such case in her constituency. She even went on to train her gun towards the media and asked them to prove the allegations of farmer suicide.
“Whenever someone dies, they call it a farmer suicide. Won’t anyone die! Why doesn’t the opposition distribute sweets of immortality so that everyone lives forever and no one dies! If they have guts, let them come over to my constituency and prove it. The newspapers print such news; can they go with me and show me where farmers committed suicide,” questioned the ruling party MLA.
“There has been no farmer suicide in my constituency; however, three of the newspapers- Sambad, Samaj and Prameya published reports stating that there has been one. I asked those reporters to visit the ground with me. When we went to the field of the deceased farmer, we saw there was about knee-deep water in the field. Now, tell me, does the paddy crop die at this water level,” she added.
The opposition parties, however, took strong objection to the statement made by Mallick.
“The statement is unfortunate and indicates extreme low levels of thinking. They shouldn’t mock the farmers this way,” said Congress Spokesperson Sulochana Das.
“I think this is ‘Marana kale vipreet buddhi’ (one thinks in the wrong direction at the time of his death). There were no cases of farmer suicide during January, February, March etc. The incidents have started flowing after October. Now, one can easily guess how the suicides are connected to the drought,” said BJP Spokesperson Suresh Pujari hinting at the harvest season when the drought struck.
Ruling BJD was quick to distance itself from the irresponsible statement by its MLA.
“I don’t wish to make a clarification on a statement someone made at a time where there is a drought condition in the state and farmers are dying. Let her clarify. I would, however, like to inform that the State Government is careful about the issues and is taking necessary steps to stand up to the challenge,” said BJD Spokesperson Shashi Bhusan Behera.