Bhubaneswar: Drawing flak from her party as well as the Opposition for her off-the-cuff statement on ‘amar ladoo’ issue relating to the farmer suicides in Odisha, BJD leader and former minister Pramila Mallick on Monday turned volte face saying her statement was primarily aimed at the Opposition.
“I have never derided the farmers. I come from a farmer family. In fact, my statement was aimed at the Opposition which has the habit of terming the death of any person as farmer suicide”, the BJD Mahila Morcha president told OTV.
Referring to the allegation of the Opposition, Mallick said the Opposition should refrain from propagating farmer suicides and tell the cause of death of any person which has come to its notice.
Justifying her statement, she said the Opposition as well as the media had alleged two farmer suicide cases in her Binjharpur constituency. But the allegations were proved wrong by the police during investigation.
Replying to a question on her suggestion to the Opposition to give ‘amar ladoo’ to the farmers, Mallick said they (Opposition) should make efforts so that the people of Odisha would never die.
“This is deliberate attempt of the Opposition to malign the state government. Since the modus operandi of the state government does not suit them, they are trying their best to defame the government by hook or by crook.
Earlier in the day, the BJP Mahila Morcha came down heavily on Mallick for her high-handed remark.
At a press briefing here, president of the Morcha, Surama Padhi said the statement of Mallick on ‘amar ladoo’ (immortality pill) has dealt a body blow to the entire farmer community.
“The BJP strongly condemns the statement of the BJD Mahila Morcha president and former Woman and Child Development Minister Pramila Mallick suggesting ‘amar ladoo’ for the farmers so that they would never die. Besides, she has said the Opposition is making farce and the media is publishing biased news. Being a mother, she has gone above her sensitivity”, she said.
Referring to the statement Mallick had given to the media on Sunday, Padhi said if the BJD leader has said that her statement of ‘amar ladoo’ is not meant for the farmer community and hurt their sentiments, then she should refrain from making such dirty and harsh comments to keep her party supremo happy. If there is any ‘amar ladoo’, then the state government should start its distribution with immediate effect.