State BJP leaders hits Naveen Patnaik government for its failures, farmers suicide ( 200 during the last khariff season) prior to PM Narendra Modi&’s speech, were all left wondering why the PM had not even mentioned about the farmers suicide.
In many ways, the phenomenon was a repeat of what BJP party president Amit Shah had done on his first visit to Odisha.
The state leaders had lambasted the BJD government of being corrupt – chit fund scam, mining scam, land scam etc and had announced that the BJP national president will expose the BJD. But Shah had not uttered a word against the Naveen Patnaik government.
On Sunday, the PM did not make any direct attack on the BJD government even though the build up by the state BJP leaders had raised expectations of the people in this regard.
Reliable sources said notes and slips were sent to the PM on certain Odisha specific issues pertaining to failure of the Naveen Patnaik government in the farm sector and the farmer suicides. But he apparently those to ignore them.
The PM, however, did make a few subtle digs – is there a change, he remarked while appreciating the huge turnout.
Two other sentences – poverty in Odisha is a matter of concern as there is no reason why it should be so with all the natural resources and the sarcasm in thanking the CM for having campaigned for him by addressing two farmers meetings a couple of days ago.
That was all. Prior to his address, state BJP leaders Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Jual Oram, Suresh Pujari, state BJP president Basant Panda, K V Singh Deo, Biswabhusan Harichandan and a host of other speakers had delivered fiery speeches.
The build-up was a direct frontal attack on Naveen Patnaik government. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, in his speech, alleged that a dictatorial regime prevails in Odisha, 200 farmers have died and the state government refuses to admit it.
We demanded a judicial commission, but the state does not have the courage to appoint such a commission, he said.
The BJD government alleged that drought assistance has been reduced and I rebutted it by daring them to come with facts. They have not done so till now.
Pradhan remarked that as per official figures – cattle population in Odisha is on the decline where population of donkey&’s is on the rise. Odisha government failed in availing benefits from central schemes like the PM Irrigation Yojana, he charged.
Farmers are suffering because of the nexus between brokers, mill owners and ruing BJD leaders, he said.
Former president of state BJP and national secretary Suresh Pujari said the BJD had insulted the farmers by stating that the deaths were due to alcoholism and other reasons , not due to crop loss or debt.
State BJP president Basant Panda too launched a sharp attack on the Naveen Patnaik government for its failure on the irrigation front and the distress sale of paddy.
He said farmers of neighbouring states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have benefitted a lot from irrigation schemes , procurement mechanisms etc.
Panda exhorted the gathering to vote for the BJP in the ensuing panchayat elections. But all this build up seemed futile, as the PM delivered a speech devoid of any direct criticism of the state BJD government.
Congress leaders were quick to jump at this and charge that the secret understanding between the BJP and BJD stands exposed yet again.