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Odishatv Bureau

Bargarh: The Thaimate brand of pesticides used by farmers in Odisha does not kill the pests but helps in their procreation, said Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat after visiting the drought and pest affected-areas in Sonepur and Bargarh districts today.

“The farmers have used Thaimate pesticides due to lack of proper communication. I was surprised to know that many farmers have used Thaimate and similar pesticides that helps in spreading Brown Plant Hopper pest,” said Shekhawat.

Reacting to his statement, BJD leader Subash Singh questioned the basis of his claim. “When did the Union Minister turn into a research scholar, which committee has provided him the report? A team of scientists must provide the report whether the pesticide is apt or not,” said Singh.

Shekhawat during his visit to Bargarh district went to Kalapani village to meet the family of deceased farmer Brunda Sahu, who had committed suicide on November 1 allegedly over crop loss due to pest attack. After hearing about Brunda from his two daughters, Shekhawat discussed with local administration on steps to extend support to the family members of the deceased.

Reacting on Shekhawat's visit to Brunda's house, Odisha Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout said the Union Minister visited may be because the deceased farmer was a supporter of his party.

"Brunda may be a member of his party. So the Union Minister visited his house. Why should I visit as he does not belong to my party? A probe has been ordered on Brunda's death. A high-level probe on the reasons and the circumstances behind his suicide is underway. The government is deciding on the kind of support to be provided to his family," said Rout.

The reaction of Rout did not go down well with Brunda's family members. Such statements from a Minister are uncalled for, said Brunda Sahu’s daughter Preeti Sahu.

"We are still mourning my father's death. We are a family of farmers and we do not belong to any party. It is his duty to visit us and being a minister of the State government such statements do not suit him," said Preeti.

She even said that various political parties are visiting them and giving them assurance but her family is yet to receive any assistance.

 

Similarly, BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit reacted to the Agri minister saying “If Damodar Rout has data that Brunda Sahu is of BJP based on which he decided not to visit his home, let him calculate the number of farmers belonging to BJP, BJD and Congress and work for the farmers of his party. I criticise such cheap politics promoting division within the farming community.” 

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