BJP demands Patnaik's resignation for farmers' plight

Alleging that at least five farmers in various districts have committed suicide, state BJP vice-president Prithviraj Harichandan said their party would launch a state-wide farmers' agitation if the government failed to take proper measures to deal with the problems faced by peasants.

Observing that suicides by farmers was unheard in Orissa, state BJP general secretary Nayan Mohanty said peasants in the state were being forced to take such a drastic step due to inefficiency and indifference of the BJD government.

Accusing the government of trying to suppress the true facts, Mohanty said the chief minister and Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout must resign for their failure to prevent suicides by farmers.

The government, he said, must take action against those who furnished false information about the plight of farmers due to inadequate rainfall, pest attack and debt burden. The government should take immediate steps to declare rain-starved areas as drought affected, provide adequate compensation to the families of the deceased farmers and defer recovery of agriculture loans.

The BJP leaders claimed that a delegation of the ruling BJD led by Rajya Sabha member Kishore Mohanty visited the affected areas and admitted of crop loss. "It shows that the chief minister, agriculture minister and entire administration not only lost the confidence of the people but also that of their own party," the BJP leaders said.

They claimed that a farmer committed suicide in Jharsuguda district due to debt burden on October four, while two others took a similar step in Sambalpur district on October seven and 18.

Similar incidents have also taken place in Sonepur and Balasore districts, they said adding that a BJP delegation today visited Balasore district where a fish farmer committed suicide, unable to bear the misery and debt burden.

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