BHUBANESWAR: The Opposition Congress and BJP on Wednesday trained their guns at the state government over farmer suicide cases.
The state Congress organised a public hearing over farmer suicide, while Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said the state government has failed to give proper assurance to the farmers facing severe drought situation.
They attacked the government for failing to instil faith among the drought-hit farmers forcing them to commit suicide due to crop loss and loan burden.
“The state government has failed to give proper assurance and instil confidence among the drought-hit farmers forcing them to commit suicide. Besides, the officials have not met any farmers of the drought-hit districts to know their problems,” said Oram.
The Minister said it had been found, in most of the cases, that the farmers have committed suicide after failing to repay the loan they had borrowed from the cooperative banks and the moneylenders.
The state government is in denial mode over the allegations that farmers have committed suicide due to the debt burden.
He said that he would meet the Union Agriculture Minister and apprised him of the situation in the state.
The Minister asked the ruling BJD to be more serious over the farmer issue instead of indulging in politics.
He said the government has indirectly admitted that farmers have committed suicide due to loan burden.
It is to be noted that the government has received 111 farmer suicide cases while some have taken a loan from various banks and private money lenders.
In order to prove its point, the state Congress organised a public hearing attended by one former justice, one former bureaucrat and an eminent social activist.
A total of 16 families of deceased farmers gave vent to their plights at the public hearing.
Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Prasad Harichandan demanded to inquiry the farmer suicide cases by Human Rights Commission for a fair probe.
However, the ruling BJD refuted all the allegations made by the opposition parties.
“The government is taking every possible step to meet the drought situation. The opposition parties should help the farmers instead of indulging in politics,” said BJD spokesperson Amar Satpathy.