Bhubaneswar: Accusing opposition Congress and BJP of politicising the prevailing drought situation in Odisha, the ruling BJD today announced its plan to hold a farmers’ rally in western Odisha on November 19 which will be addressed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“The BJD will organise a huge farmers’ ‘Samavesh’ (rally) on November 19 where lakhs of farmers would participate. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will address the rally,” senior BJD leader and former minister S N Patro told reporters here.
Charging Congress and BJP with misleading the people over incidents of suicide by farmers, Patro said, “They are doing politics over farmer deaths.”
The rally would be held at Sohela in Bargarh district, Patro said, adding the opposition’s game plan over the drought situation would be exposed.
Expressing concern over the death of farmers in the state which is faced with drought, the senior BJD leader from Odisha’s western region said the rally was aimed at boosting self-confidence of farmers.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress, however, challanged the ruling party and its leader Naveen Patnaik to deny the incidents of suicides by farmers. “Let you (Naveen) say that the government effectively managed the drought situation,” Mishra said.
Claiming that the ruling party was pushed to a corner over the spate of farmers’ suicide incidents, Mishra said, “They have developed fear psycosis after Rahul Gandhi’s rally in western Odisha earlier this year.”
BJP leader Prithiwiraj Harichandan also criticised BJD over its alleged inept handling of the drought situation.
The state government had earlier announced a drought package worth Rs 1,000 crore and demanded Rs 3500 crore from the Centre after declaring 139 blocks spread over 21 districts as drought-affected areas.