Bhubaneswar: With the farmer suicide cases in Odisha taking alarming proportions, a ruling BJD MLA seems to have found a permanent solution to the ongoing crisis much to the discomfiture to her party as well as the Opposition.
In an explosive and sarcastic statement on Sunday, senior BJD leader and Binjharpur MLA Pramilla Mallick asked the Opposition parties to give ‘Amar ladoo’ (immortal sweets) to the farmers so that they would not die henceforth.
“After I received two cases of farmer suicide in my constituency following reports in Sambad, Samaj and Prameya, the three vernacular dailies, I called up the reporters of these newspapers for an on-the-spot visit to the areas where crop loss has been reported. I took them to the family members of the deceased farmers and the field where they have taken up cultivation. Upon reaching the field, we found the paddy crops with knee-deep water. Is there any instance of paddy crop being damaged with this amount of water in the field?” Mallick asked.
Alleging that the Opposition and the media have the tendency of terming the death of any person as farmer suicide, the BJD MLA said let them give ‘amar ladoo’ to the farmers so that would never die henceforth.
“Let the Opposition prove farmer suicide case in my area if they have the guts. Let the print media, which has published the news, come with me and show where such cases have taken place in my area,” she dared.
However, the BJP has said the statement of Mallick is a part of the policy of her party.
“The way King Nero was playing flute when Rome was burning, here our chief minister is playing veena when the plight of the farmer community in Odisha has gone from bad to worse. The manner in which a coterie of BJD leaders surrounding the chief minister has been giving misleading statements on farmer suicides, it seems that efforts are being made to keep the chief minister in the dark about the shocking incidents,” BJP leader Lekhashree Samantray told OTV over phone.
She said the statement of Mallick is not only an insult to the farmer community but also the people of Odisha.
“While the farmers of the state are deprived of proper irrigation facility, loan and subsidy which have made their life miserable, such out-of-place statement by a senior BJD leader is grossly unfortunate”, Samantray pointed out.
Claiming that the state government has no concern for the welfare of the farmers, she said whatever announcement the state government has made so far for the farmers is a part of the Central assistance.
“The state government, till date, has not announced a single pie from the State Disaster Response Fund”, she added.
In his reaction, BJP leader Suresh Pujari asked why there was no farmer suicide case in the state barring September and October.
“While there were cases of farmer suicides in January, February and March this year, why there are more suicide cases during drought? From this, you can know that the suicide cases are interlinked with drought. All I can say that the BJD has hard times ahead”, he pointed out.
“The statement of Mallick clearly indicates that this government has no concern and compassion for the entire farmer community. The cavalier attitude of the BJD leader who has asked the Opposition to give ‘amar ladoo’ to the farmers reveals her sick mentality. I should suggest them not to try to save the farmer community. But they should stay away from adding salt to their injuries,” Congress spokesperson Sulochana Das told media persons here.
In an attempt to moderate the incident, senior BJD leader Sashi Bhusan Behera said it would be improper for him to give any comments on any personal statement relating to issues like farmer suicides or farmers’ problems in the state.
Without mentioning the name of Mallick, he said she will give a clarification to the statement she has given.
He, however, said the state government is keen to tide over the situation as early as possible.