Farmer suicide: Cong holds public hearing, slams BJD memorandum

Bhubaneswar: Three days after bringing out a white paper on farmer suicides in the State, the Congress today came down heavily on the ruling BJD for submitting an ‘incomplete and biased’ memorandum to Centre on drought situation in Odisha.

In a public hearing in the capital city, which was attended by 16 families of the deceased peasants, the party took a dig at the ruling party for not drafting the drought report meticulously.

“I take pity to say that the State government has drafted a report on farmer suicides without meeting the family of a single deceased farmer. And this shows that the ruling government has no sympathy for the farmers of the State and it is only shedding tears on their deaths,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan said.

Lambasting the party for failing to present facts about the farmers’ condition in the report, he said the report was completely biased.

“We have the information that the district collectors have not met the families of deceased farmers. And how could they filed a report on this?” he asked.

However, BJD was prompt to downplay the allegations.

“Based on Collectors’ field information, the report has been drafted. If the Congress party has any specific case they are welcome,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena said.

In its white paper the Congress party had held the ruling BJD government responsible for rising farmers’ suicide in Odisha and claimed 111 peasants including two women have so far ended their lives due to the utter callousness of the state government.