Govt says no peasant death due to crop loss, Opposition fumes

Bhubaneswar: Opposition BJP and Congress came down heavily on the ruling BJD today after the State government said that the 41 farmer deaths which have been reported in the state in past one month are not due to crop failure or loan burden.

In the eye estimate report on drought, submitted by the collectors said the farmer deaths are mainly due to family disputes and excessive liquor consumption by the victims. It further said the cases are not directly linked to agriculture.

Disputing the reports, senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said the government is trying to keep the citizens in dark.

“How the reports are saying that the farmer deaths are not due to crop failure or loan over-burden? The reports are completely wrong and have been drafted only to keep the government in a safer side,“ Mishra said.

“We have also conducted field surveys and the results are something else. We demand a fresh survey and it should be made inducting the Opposition party. Then only it will be clear who is right and who’s wrong. BJP demands to call an all-party meet and investigate it,” added Mishra.

Lambasting the State government for the ‘insensible’ report, BJP leader Suresh Pujari alleged that it was encouraging the Collectors for wrong and baseless reports.

“The death of all the farmers is only due to crop loss and burden of loan. If the government wants to know the fact, it should visit the family of the deceased. Why it is encouraging the collectors to submit false reports,” he asked.

The ruling BJD however refuted the charges.

“The administrative report must have been based on facts. National media reports said in Maharashtra at least 585 peasants have died since January this year. Has the government accepted the report?” asked BJD spokesperson Sashibhusan Behera.

The Odisha government on Thursday said it has received reports on the alleged suicide of 41 farmers and is examining the actual cause of their death.