BJP demands Odisha agri minister’s scalp on farmer suicide

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Bhubaneswar: The opposition BJP today demanded the dismissal of Odisha agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy for “misleading” the Assembly with his statement on the death of a farmer in Bargarh district.

BJP state president Basant Panda said the party would demonstrate in all district headquarters demanding Maharathy’s dismissal for taking the farmer’s suicide case lightly.

“The minister has mislead the Assembly by reading out a wrong statement and should be sacked,” Panda said.

Maharathy in his statement in the Assembly on March 4 had said the farmer had consumed poision after a quarrel with his wife and the cause of his death was not crop loss or debt burden.

The deceased farmer Hadu Bagarti’s wife Kalabati had rejected the minister’s statement and claimed she did not have any quarrel with her husband.

Also Read: Fresh probe into Bargarh farmer’s suicide ordered
“It is painful that the minister is saying that my husband died due to a family dispute. I will like to mention here that no govenrment official has visited our house since the death of my husband,” Kalabati told local TV channels.”The govenrment may ask the district Collector of Bargarh to undertake fresh inquiry into the death of Hadu Bagarti. I read the statement in the House based on the report of the Collector,” Maharathy today said.

Bargarh district Collector Anjan Kumar Manik said the district administration had prepared the note on Bagarti’s death based on the information given by the local tehesildar and the assistant agriculture officer.

“I have not visisted Bagarti’s house,” Manik said.

The government in its report had mentioned that Bagarti had a quarrel with his wife over sprinkling pesticide in the field, following which he consumed pesticide.

On February 28, Khainu Bagarti alias Hadu (55) died in a government hospital, two days after he consumed poison. The farmer of Kenpalli village was under stress due to crop loss and debt burden.

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