BJP holds Naveen Patnaik responsible for farmers' death

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 5: Holding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik responsible for unabated farmers' suicide in drought-hit Odisha, BJP today demanded immediate waiver of all farm loans and magisterial inquiry into all cases pertaining to peasants' death, allegedly due to crop failure and debt burden.

"The state government should immediately announce waiving of all agricultural loans taken from all sources by distressed farmers. It will act as a ray of hope for debt-ridden farmers, hit hard by drought," senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra told reporters here.

Naveen Patnaik

Accusing the BJD (Biju Janata Dal) regime of being indifferent towards the miseries of farmers, he said farm loans obtained from all sources, including private agencies and money lenders, must be waived forthwith to check suicide by farmers.

Stating that a BJP team undertook a four-day visit to Gajapati, Kandhamal and Rayagada districts and studied the situation at 50 places spread over 14 blocks, Mohapatra said though the situation was "disastrous and grave", sadly the government is yet to declare these districts as drought-affected.

Dismissing stories floated by BJD leaders and officers about suicide of farmers, the BJP stalwart demanded that every farmer death case be probed by a judicial magistrate in an impartial manner to unravel the truth.

Terming inquiry reports of district collectors on farmer suicide as biased, Mohapatra said "magisterial inquiry must be conducted into every farmer death case."

During its visit to various areas, the BJP team saw the ground situation and spoke to people and found that farmers were forced to commit suicide due to crop failure and heavy debt burden."However, government failed to gauge gravity of the situation as neither ministers nor officials visited the affected areas to assess the situation," he said. 

PTI

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