Baragarh: Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat today met the family members of deceased farmer Brunda Sahu of Kalapani village in Bargarh district who had committed suicide on November 1, just a day after burning his pest-affected paddy crops.
The Central Minister talked to the family members and reportedly Rajesh, son of late Brunda Sahu, requested the visiting Minister to help their family in this time of crisis.
“While hordes of leaders from different political parties have been coming to our home after my father committed suicide, we are yet to receive any help from the government or any other qusrter. Please help my family in this time of crisis,” Rajesh requested the Minister.
Earlier in the day, M S Shekhawat visited several other parts of the district to take stock of the pest affected paddy crops and other farmers’ related issues accompanied by state BJP’s legislature party leader Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo, State BJP President Basant Panda and other party leaders.
Recently, farmers of Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Nuapada, Ganjam, Sambalpur, Rayagada districts in the state set their crops on fire on acres and acres of paddy fields as they could not stop the attack of brown planthopper pest. As many as nine farmers have ended their lives over crop loss due to pest attack in last few weeks.
However, the Odisha government has already announced a package of 124 crore rupees for the farmers affected by pest attack in different areas of the state during this Kharif season.
Minutes after concluding his visit, the Union MOS For Agriculture, G S Shekhawat while talking to reporters again blamed the Odisha government for allegedly not paying any heed to the advisory issued by the Central Rice Research Institute(CRRI) scientists to tackle the pest menace and sensitise the farmers in this connection.
However, the Odisha Agriculture Minister and BJD veteran, Damodar Rout taking umbrage at the visit of the Central Minister said that the visiting minister should not indulge in undeserving politics and resort to cheap gimmicks. An irritated Damodar Rout went up to the extent of saying,”No I need not go to meet the family of Brunda Sahu since he is not a BJD follower. The Union Minister might have gone to meet his family might be because of the fact that he was a BJP man.”
Reacting to the statement of Damodar Rout, the daughter of deceased farmer Brunda Sahu said,” We are poor persons. We do not belong to any political party. We are without house of our own even,” she rued.