Bhubaneswar: The BJP on Thursday staged a 12-hour sit-in fast demanding that the state government take concrete steps to check farmers' suicide in Odisha and formally declare drought in affected areas.
Joining the sit-in, BJP state unit president K V Singhdeo accused the ruling BJD of holding farmers' rally at Sohela in drought-hit Bargarh district to hide its inefficiency and inability to check peasant suicides.
While the state government has done precious little to mitigate the plight of debt-ridden farmers hit hard by drought and crop failure, the BJD is doing politics over farmers' suicide by holding a rally, Singhdeo alleged.
Instead of indulging in show of strength by holding rallies "using money power and government machinery", the BJD government must spend the money for farmers, formally declare drought in affected districts and submit detailed memorandum to the Centre, Singhdeo said.
It was unfortunate that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik did not utter a single word even at BJD rally at Sohela today to sympathise with the families of distressed farmers who have committed suicide, senior BJP leaders like Bijay Mohapatra and Biswabhusan Harichandan said.
Mohapatra said the Chief Minister has not visited a single drought affected district or a deceased farmer's family. "He simply flew to Sohela to address the rally in utter disregard to the miseries of the farmers," he said.
Though the farmers are under tremendous pressure from unscrupulous money lenders, the Chief Minister is silent which worsened the plight of peasants, Harichandran said.