Naveen warns party men to refrain from irresponsible remarks

BHUBANESWAR: While unabated farmer suicide cases have already tarnished the image of BJD-led Odisha government, the irresponsible statements by party leaders have put the government in further trouble that forced Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to rein them before embarrassing the government further.

Patnaik on Monday sent a word of caution to his party colleagues to refrain from making ‘irresponsible’ statements in the media on a sensitive issue like farmer suicides in the state.

His move came in the wake of BJD Mahila wing president Pramila Mallick’s sarcastic statement on farmer suicides.

Mallick on Sunday created a row over farmer suicides when she asked the opposition to serve ‘amar laddoo’ (immortality sweets) to people so that they would not die henceforth.

Her remark came after the opposition alleged that the state government was sitting pretty even as farmers were committing suicide in the state due to crop loss and loan burden.

Mallick in her reaction, however, feigned ignorance of the developments and stated that she hadn’t received any communication either from the Chief Minister nor his office in this regard.

The statement of the BJD women wing president gave fresh ammunition to the opposition parties, who are already on fire over farmer suicide issue.

The women’s wing of the Congress on Monday burnt the effigy of the former minister here while condemning her statement.

Similarly, former BJP minister Surama Padhi termed Mallick’s statement as ‘adding insult to injury’.

Padhi urged the BJD government to start ‘amar laddoos scheme’ to prevent farmer suicides in the state.