Congress seeks report on farmer deaths in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Demanding tabling of probe report on farmer deaths in Odisha, senior Congress legislator Narasingha Mishra today targeted the ruling-BJD in the State Assembly.

“When the probe report has been submitted by the district administration, why the State government is dilly-dallying in tabling of them in the House,” Mishra said.

He further alleged that the State government is violating the Constitution and the country’s law by not disclosing the reasons behind farmer deaths in the State.

“The Agriculture Minister presented a written reply on farmer deaths in the House and has not denied that farmers have committed suicide. During the reply, the Minister cited examples of farmer deaths in Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Bargarh and Bolangir. Moreover, Rajya Sabha member Prasanna Acharya has accepted that farmers are committing suicide in the State,” said Mishra.

Farmers in Bolangir, Bargarh, Balasore and Jagatsinghpur have committed suicide as scanty rainfall in the state led to huge crop losses. The incidents of suicide are on the rise in the state as the government failed to provide irrigation facilities, alleged the senior Congress legislator.

On the other hand, BJP MLAs marched towards the Speaker’s podium and protested the farmer deaths. Opposition leader Pradipta Naik said the party leaders met bereaved families of farmers and discussed the issues whereas none from the ruling party have done the same in recent past.

“We have been raising farmers’ issues on priority basis in the Assembly. Our leaders have visited the houses of farmers to understand their problems. But BJD leaders have never shown such gesture,” said Naik.

Agriculture and Farmer Empowerment Minister Arun Sahoo refuted the charges and said the State government has been giving all kind of assistance to farmers to help them. He added farm-related issues were not the reason behind the suicides.

“The government has been collecting reports from district administration to find out reason behind the deaths,” Sahoo stated.