Bhubaneswar, Nov 13 (IANS) Perturbed over the growing negative campaign against the Odisha government over unabated cases of farmers’ suicides, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Friday announced it would hold a ‘Chasi Samabesh’ (farmers’ convention) on November 19.
The event would be held at Soleha in Bargarh district, where Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had led a ‘Save Farmer March’ in September, a BJD leader said.
“The party would hold the convention to sensitise the farmers about different welfare programmes initiated by the state government and to boost the confidence of farmers,” said senior BJD leader Prasanna Acharya.
More than one lakh farmers would attend the convention to be addressed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said Acharya.
With the opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacking the government for failing to address the drought situation, senior BJD leader Surya Narayan Patro said the opposition parties are using this serious issue to gain political mileage.
“The ruling BJD has become scared over the support of farmers and people to the ‘padyatra’ of Congress in recent days. The Congress party also got massive support during the visit of Rahul Gandhi. So, BJD is trying to save its image,” said leader of opposition Narasingh Mishra.
In the recent past, the Congress and BJP have organised several rallies and ‘padyatras’ to highlight the failure of the state government to curb the series of farmer suicides in the state due to loan burden and crop loss.
The state government has declared that over 33 percent crop loss has been reported in 21 districts in the state.