Bhubaneswar: The state Congress unit said Wednesday the BJP lost three state polls due to its “anti-farmer” stance and predicted a similar fate for the ruling BJD in Odisha as it is “insensitive” to peasant’s problems.
The Congress was poised Wednesday to form governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The Assembly poll results show that the process has begun for the Congress to ascend to power, Odisha PCC president Niranjan Patnaik told the media here.
Results of the Assembly election in the three states amply prove that farmers’ problems and issues pertaining to the farm sector played a major role in the voting, he said.
“Congress will bounce back to power both in Odisha and at the Centre as people are unhappy over the anti-farmer approach of BJD and BJP,” he said.
“Political parties and governments which are insensitive towards the issues of farmers are bound to face defeat in the next elections,” Patnaik said.
The OPCC president described BJD and BJP as “two sides of the same coin”, saying both the political parties are ‘incapable’ of safeguarding the interests of farmers.
Their inaction on MSP and implementation of the M S Swaminathan committee report showed that both the parties are working against the interests of farmers, he claimed.
The Assembly poll results also proved that politics based on religion and caste has been rejected outright by the people, Patnaik asserted.
Stating that farmers in Odisha are facing serious problems, Patnaik said reports of suicide by debt-ridden peasants have been pouring in frequently from different parts of the state but the state government has done ‘little’ to mitigate their plight.
On the other hand, attempts were made to suppress the voice of the farmers and police force was used by the BJD government to stop them when they were proceeding to Bhubaneswar to highlight their grievances and demands, he alleged.
The OPCC chief exuded confidence that the Congress will be voted to power in Odisha if it fights elections in a united and disciplined way. He said if the party comes to power in Odisha, it will waive farm loans and provide solar pump sets to farmers.
In Odisha, where Assembly polls are due early next year along with the Lok Sabha elections, Congress will be locked in a direct fight with the ruling BJD, he claimed.
Monthly old-age pension would also be enhanced from Rs 300 to Rs 1,000, while farmers would be provided with adequate financial assistance, the PCC president said.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra, who was also present at the press meet, said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has himself admitted that farmers’ issues played a major role in the assembly polls, results of which were declared Tuesday.
He said the Chief Minister should realise that his government is also indifferent to the problems of farmers. “The anti-farmer policy of the BJD government will pave way for a change in the next elections in Odisha,” Mishra said.
Naveen Patnaik had Tuesday found fault in the BJP-led NDA government’s farmers’ policy. Noting that the elections were held in predominately agrarian states, he had said the BJP government at the Centre has done “very little” for peasants as regards MSP and implementation of M S Swaminathan Committee recommendations.
BJP’s state unit vice-president Samir Mohanty also took a swipe at the BJD government accusing it of neglecting the farmers.