Drought situation: BJP team meets Guv, presents 6-point demand

Bhubaneswar: A delegation of BJP led by the party’s State president KV Singhdeo today met Governor SC Jamir and presented a six-point charter of demands on drought situation in the State at Raj Bhavan here.

The demands mentioned in the memorandum included compensation to drought-affected farmers, assessment of losses, repair of lift irrigation points on war footing and postponement of repayment of loans of farmers until the situation improves.

After the meeting with the Governor, the party’s State president KV Singhdeo said, “A BJP team has visited 13 blocks and 56 villages in five districts and prepared a report. Today, we submitted a memorandum regarding this. We also informed him that this year drought is more than intense than 1965. But the government has not taken any steps and no directive was issued.”

Further, he stated if the government is claiming that it has taken steps from May, it should tell what steps have been taken on the basis of the collector’s report. “If the collectors have not sent reports, immediate action should be taken against them. The governor said he would ask for a report from the department and take steps,” Singhdeo added.

Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra, who was part of the delegation, said, “Our party first brought the information on the drought situation before public and the State government.”

The drought situation in Sambalpur, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Bhawanipatna districts is miserable, he said adding that no agricultural activity is done at many places.

“Leave alone chief minister or agriculture minister, collectors of the drought-affected districts have not visited the calamity-hit areas,” Mohapatra said.

Reacting to the allegations, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said, “BJP was in deep slumber. When Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi came here, BJP woke up and knocked the doors of the Governor.”

He added the State government undertook the first meeting under the chairmanship of the chief minister on drought like situation in May. “First, they should make homework. They are just showing that they are with farmers,” he chided.

Meanwhile, chief minister Naveen Patnaik will review the drought like situation in a meeting which will be attended by chief secretary, Agriculture secretary, Special Relief Commissioner, senior officials of Revenue and Water Resource at the Secretariat here in afternoon.

Notably, a special team of BJP led by Singhdeo last week visited different blocks of Balangir, Nuapada and Kalahandi districts to take stock of the drought-like situation.