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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Senior BJP leader and the Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi on Wednesday lashed out at the Odisha government alleging that the ruling party has failed miserably in bringing relief for the drought-stricken farmers and demanded a special package for the producers apart from announcing drought in the State.

Replying to the State Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo's statement in the Monsoon Session of Assembly during the adjournment motion today that a contingency crop plan is being implemented for farmers, Majhi said that the ruling-BJD has done nothing for farmers and termed Sahoo's statement as unfortunate.

"The State government cannot do away from its duties by putting the blame on nature. The government has done nothing to alleviate the plight of the farmers in this time of drought," he said. 

Lift irrigation points are lying defunct in the State. While the water bodies have dried up, the government has completely failed in irrigating the farm lands, said Majhi.

Similarly, the Congress party too displayed its displeasure over Sahoo's statement and termed it as 'Baseless'. Senior party leader Narasingha Mishra said that 27 districts of Odisha have been affected by deficit rainfall, so the government should declare them drought-affected soon.

"We wanted the Speaker to suspend the question hour and allow a discussion on the drought situation in the State. They never replied to my earlier letters on the issue. So the party members went ahead and created ruckus in the House," said Mishra.

Earlier today in the Assembly, Minister Arun Sahoo said that Odisha has faced eight drought situations in the last 20 years, as many as 23 districts in the State have received deficit rain till August 28 this year and crops in 47 blocks of 14 districts have sustained damage due to low rainfall. The government is in the process to implement a contingency crop plan to tackle such kinds of situations, he said.

Sahoo further said, "The areas with low rainfall have been directed to supply pump sets for irrigation and the district Collectors have been instructed to keep a close eye on the situation."

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