Declare Jharkhand as famine-hit: Parties

Ranchi: With only 58 mm of rain recorded as against the normal 330 mm at this time of the year, major political parties today demanded Jharkhand be declared famine-hit and a special financial package to protect the farmers.

"As per the official records, a meagre 2.78 per cent sowing could be taken up across the state following the deficit rainfall while it is almost zero per cent in places like Sareikela and Garhwa," Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantric), Principal General Secretary, Pradip Yadav, told a news conference here.

"We demand Jharkhand to be declared as famine-hit and make provision for a special economic package to save farmers from distress," he said.

Party chief Babulal Marandi, he added, would sit on a day-long fast at Mohrabadi ground to attract the Centre's attention to the problems faced by the farming community.

In a similar demand at a separate press meet, the RJD's state unit secretary, Girinath Singh, said the party would stage a day-long dharna on July 31 near Raj Bhavan to realise their demand.

BJP spokesman Sanjay Seth demanded 'waiver of loans with immediate effect...even last year drought was declared in some districts of the state'.

The CPI (ML-Liberation), secretary, Janardhan Prasad said "By now, the administration should have started distribution of relief measures to the farmers."