Modi blames Odisha government for farmers’ plight

While Modi accuses Odisha government of ignoring the needs of common people and farmers, Congress claims secret ties between BJP and BJD

Bhubaneswar: Accusing the Odisha government of failing to address issues of farmers in the State due to sheer apathy and callousness, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the inefficiency of the ruling dispensation has adversely affected the entire farming community of the State.

Addressing a huge gathering at Khurda, Modi said the BJP government at the Centre implemented the Swaminathan Committee Report, which the Congress failed to do during its reign, and increased the minimum support price (MSP) of 22 different crops, including paddy. However, due to lack of proper management by the State government, farmers here are not getting the right prices and are being forced to move to neighboring states. Lack of irrigation, mandis and other facilities are depriving Odisha farmers from getting the profit that they deserve, he said.

Reminding the ruling party in the state of its poll promises, Modi said that the regional party had promised to provide irrigation in 10 lakh hectare land, but only 22,000 hectare land have been irrigated. Besides one-third blocks in the State lack irrigation even though five major rivers flow through Odisha.

“The BJP is committed to all-round development of farmers in Odisha and in the country. The party is taking all measures to give the farmers what they deserve and is working towards linking Mandis with Internet and create more and more cold storage facilities. Besides, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is there for timely payouts to farmers in case of losses. However, as the Odisha government has not adopted the scheme, farmers in the State are being deprived of its benefits, said Modi.

“Why Odisha is still lagging behind in sanitation? Why youths of Odisha are migrating from the State? Why women and children are dying of malnutrition? Why hospitals don’t have sufficient doctors? Why farmers here are still crying over irrigation facilities? Why farmers are resorting to distress sale? Why major parts of Odisha still don’t have access to drinking water? Why teachers are taking to streets to get their salaries? If these questions are answered honestly, development in Odisha could happen in a more transparent manner,” said Modi.

Modi also lashed out at the Odisha government stating that the ruling party members are deeply involved in chit fund scam and corrupt ‘percentage commission (PC)’ practice.

He also lashed out at the Odisha government for not adopting the Centre’s universal health coverage scheme Ayushman Bharat stating that lakhs of people staying outside Odisha could have benefited.

“But the BJP is focusing on a four-prong growth strategy with emphasis on development of people, farmers, women and entrepreneurs. While the BJP’s efforts are on, things can be turned around only with the help of people. This huge gathering here is a testament to what people want and I am seeing the future of Odisha,” said Modi.

Responding to Modi’s comment, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said that Modi’s political comments will have no impact on Odisha. “People of Odisha will continue to shower their blessing on the BJD the same way they have done in the last 19 years,” said Patra.

On the other hand, Congress media cell chief Satya Prakash said, “Today’s speech of Modi made it clear that the BJP and the BJP have a secret nexus and this is the reason both are silence on issues like chit fund scams and farmers’ problems in Odisha.”