Post News Network
Khariar, Nov 13: Expressing grave concern over an acute drought situation unfolding across the country, leaders of CPI (Maoist) in an exclusive interview to correspondents of Oriya daily Dharitri at an undisclosed location on the Orissa-Chhattisgarh border warned of stepping up their revolt in protest against what they termed as arbitrary anti-farmer policies being adopted by the Centre.
The banned outfit took exception to what they called was a wanton exploitation of natural resources despite the country facing an agrarian crisis.
Budhuram Paharia, the spokesperson of CPI (Maoists), Nuapada-Sonepur Divisional Committee, said the government is busy handing over mines to foreign companies even as the country was experiencing an unprecedented drought, thus leaving the farmer community distressed.
Between 1943 and 1999, over 40 lakh people have died due to drought in the country, Paharia said, holding foreign companies and climate change as major factors responsible for this.
Attacking the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the Maoist leader noted that the Centre had made false promises to the country on the development front, but has been handing over mines and minerals to foreign firms.
“The government makes provisions for irrigation projects, but in reality it is supplying water to foreign firms instead. This has led to water pollution and ultimately to climate change. The latter has been a major impact on the agriculture sector,” Paharia said.
In a trenchant attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign, Paharia said, “The Prime Minister has been blowing his own trumpet over fast-tracking of the country’s development by way of ‘Make in India’, while at the same time he dubs farmers as the backbone of the country. But in reality ‘Make in India’ is actually ‘Take from India’.”
Currently, acute drought has gripped most parts of Orissa and Chhattisgarh, but neither the state government nor the Centre has announced any bailout package for farmers, Paharia said, adding that what has been announced is like a drop in an ocean.
“The Prime Minister is on a globetrotting spree. In such a situation, political parties which are supposed to protect the interests of farmers have been drawing their own political capital,” the Maoist leader added.
Paharia said due to extreme drought, farmers have started committing suicide. Paharia called upon the farmers not to end their lives over the situation but rather put up a united face to intensify an agitation against the ‘anti-farmer policies’ of the government.
The Maoist outfit has demanded Rs 40,000 as compensation for crop damage per acre, Rs 5 lakh compensation and jobs for deceased farmers, irrigation facilities, free supply of seeds and fertilizers for one year and ration cards for all poor people.
He also urged political parties, irrespective of their affiliations, to fight for the farmers’ cause.