Minister says no, MP says yes! BJD’s flip-flop on farmer suicides

Bhubaneswar: Taking a dig at the Centre in Rajya Sabha, BJD MP Prasanna Acharya today said that despite extending Rs 13 lakh crore as crop loan, farmers are still forced to borrow money from private lenders and get trapped in loan burden, which is one of the foremost reasons behind farmer suicides.

Acharya added that Maharashtra is the worst State when it comes to the number of such farmer deaths and when asked about Odisha, the parliamentarian said, it is a national issue.

“Many farmers are committing suicide after failing to pay back the money they had borrowed from private lenders. It is not a local issue, but applies to the entire country,” Acharya said.

However, a day before, a minister of the ruling-BJD in Odisha had given a different view in the State Assembly. Responding to a written question, the concerned minister had ruled out loan burden as reason behind farmer suicides. Though the Odisha government admitted that farmers have committed suicides, it maintained that none of the cases were on account of agriculture-related problems.