Govt trying to stifle farmer suicide cases: BJP

Bhubaneswar: Accusing the Odisha government of suppressing farmer suicide cases, the state BJP leaders on Thursday demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of deceased farmers.

Talking to mediapersons, senior party leader Biswa Bhusan Harichandan said, “The State government is trying to suppress the matter. We demand an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for families of the farmers who have ended lives due to crop loss.”

He asked the government to waive off agriculture loans and demanded an inquiry into the number of organisations and banks who have loaned to farmers.

“Water bodies and ponds should be renovated for rabi crop. There is enough fund in State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to take up renovation works,” he pointed out.

He also said the defunct lift irrigations should be renovated and emphasis should be given to construct more lift irrigation points.

However, reacting to Harichandan’s statements, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the saffron party’s demand is a political gimmick.

“The government is waiting for the Collectors’ report on the issue and then only it will take a decision,” Deb said.