Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Amid the political slugfest between BJD and the BJP over farmers’ issues, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday came down heavily on the Odisha government during his visit to Padampur in Bargarh district ahead of the crucial bypoll scheduled on December 5. 

Tomar countered the claims of the ruling party that the Centre had been holding up installments of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) meant for the farmers. Tomar said BJD is playing the blame-game just to divert the attention of people.

“The Centre has already released funds for Fasal Bima Yojana. The responsibility of floating the bids for the implementation of the scheme vests with the State government. Subsequently, the State government could have made a survey about the crop loss and demanded money,” said Tomar while addressing a public rally during campaigning for BJP for Padampur by-election.

“Centre has extended financial assistance of Rs6000 for each farmer, under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. Entire fund has already been released, now it's time to put pressure on Odisha government so that it doesn't sit on the funds meant for farmers. The State government didn’t follow the norms and kept on blaming the Centre just to divert the attention of the people. Had BJP ruled in Odisha and with double engine in place both in State and Centre, this kind of neglect would not have happened,” the minister rued.

Tomar urged people to vote for BJP candidate Pradip Purohit in large numbers in the ensuing by-election.

“Purohit’s victory will give a clear indication that BJD’s days are gone and BJP will come up with flying colours in the State in coming days,” Tomar signed off.

Meanwhile, responding to Tomar’s statements, BJD said that both the union ministers - Tomar and Ashwini Vaishnaw are misrepresenting facts intentionally.

“There is no truth in the statements made by the two union ministers. Intentionally they are misrepresenting facts. Crop loss assistance is provided by the concerned insurance firms, not state government,” said BJD leader Prasanna Acharya.