The BJP has alleged that the BJD government has neglected the farm sector forcing many farmers to commit suicide in Odisha. The government is not supporting farmers by providing easy finance and for that reason they take loans from private money lenders at very high rate of interest, BJP state unit chief Basant Panda told reporters here Friday. "Many farmers who faced crop failure were unable to repay loans and faced huge debt burden forcing them to commit suicide," the BJP leader said. The government has also "failed" to make available inputs like nutrients, seeds and irrigation facilities to the farmers, he said adding that the farmers are also denied the Minimum Support Price (MSP) fixed by the Centre for their produces. Showing a list of farmers who allegedly committed suicide, he urged the state government to grant compensation to the kin of the deceased peasants at the earliest.
He also demanded interest-free loan to farmers saying similar facility was being extended to the peasants in several BJP ruled states. He also alleged that illegal practices were being adopted by the millers during paddy procurement and the state government remained a silent spectator. "The state is actually being ruled by a coterie on the third floor (chief ministers office in the secretariat) and the millers are influencing officials to exploit the farmers," the BJP leader alleged. Panda also alleged that the state government had declared drought in some pockets of nine districts without undertaking field visits. Dismissing Panda's allegations, BJD leader Arun Sahoo said Odisha had bagged the national 'Krishi Karman Award' four times and the packages given to farmers in the state were much better than other states.