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BJP demands Maharathy’s scalp on farmer suicide issue




 The opposition BJP today demanded the dismissal of Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy for "misleading" the Assembly with his statement on the death of a farmer in Bargarh district even as the Minister hinted at a re-investigation into the cause of the suicide.

BJP state president Basant Panda said the party would demonstrate in all district headquarters demanding Maharathy's dismissal for taking the farmer's suicide case lightly.

"The minister has mislead the Assembly by reading out a wrong statement and should be sacked," Panda said.

However, Maharathy told newsmen, "The government may ask the district Collector of Bargarh to undertake fresh inquiry into the death of Hadu Bagarti. I read the statement in the House based on the report of the Collector."

Maharathy in his statement in the Assembly on March 4 had said the farmer had consumed poision after a quarrel with his wife and the cause of his death was not crop loss or debt burden.

The deceased farmer Hadu Bagarti's wife Kalabati had rejected the minister's statement and claimed she did not have any quarrel with her husband.

"It is painful that the minister is saying that my husband died due to a family dispute. I will like to mention here that no govenrment official has visited our house since the death of my husband," Kalabati told local TV channels.

Bargarh District Collector Anjan Kumar Manik said the district administration had prepared the note on Bagarti's death based on the information given by the local Tehsildar and the Assistant Agriculture Officer.

"I have not visited Bagarti's house," Manik said.

The government in its report had mentioned that Bagarti had a quarrel with his wife over sprinkling pesticide in the field, following which he consumed pesticide.

On February 28, Khainu Bagarti alias Hadu (55) died in a government hospital, two days after he consumed poison. The farmer of Kenpalli village was under stress due to crop loss and debt burden.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik also slammed the Agriculture Minister for making such irresponsible statement on a very sensitive issue. “This government is insensitive to the causes of farmers which is evident from a minister making such irresponsible statements on the issue of farmers’ suicide”, said Patnaik reminding how Naveen government have been on a denial mode when farmers commit suicide due to crop failures and debt burden. 

 






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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