Farmer suicides rock Odisha Assembly: opposition demands obituary reference

November 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm Leave a comment

Folloiwng is a report from The Pioneer:

The issue of farmer suicides rocked the State Assembly for the second day on Thursday. Demanding that an obituary reference be made in the Assembly on the deceased farmers, the Opposition created a ruckus throughout the day. However, the Government was not in a mood to make oblige. “The farmers’ community will not forgive us if we fail to make an obituary reference to the deceased farmers,” cried Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh.

As soon as the House assembled, Singh tried to raise the issue. However, without allowing him, Speaker Pradip Amat continued with the business proceedings. Protesting the action, opposition members stormed into the well of the House and demanded the Speaker to take up farmers’ case for discussion. The House was adjourned for about one hour just after three minutes.

As the House resumed again at 11.30 am, the Congress members trooped into the floor of the House and demanded that an obituary reference be made. Congress member Santosh Singh Saulja also demanded that an obituary motion should be tabled for farmers. “If we don’t observe one-minute silence for the deceased farmers, people will not forgive us,” said Saluja.

BJP member Jayanarayan Mishra said incidents of farmer suicides are continuing unabated. “About 95 per cent people depend on agriculture. So a condolence motion should be moved,” Mishra opined. Other members also supported the demand of these two members.

“There is nothing wrong in paying homage to farmers. Traditions have already been violated. Never in the history of Odisha, on an important day when a budget was going to be presented, the House was adjourned for the death of an ex-Governor. Many things have been violated. Why the legislators would not set trend by moving a motion for the farmers who fed the country,” said Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan.

BJP legislature party leader KV Singh Deo said all should come forward to pay their homage to the deceased farmers. “There is nothing wrong in setting a new tradition for the overall welfare of the society,” said Deo.

However, Treasury bench members were not in a mood to subscribe to the theories of the Opposition. BJD member Pradip Maharathi opposed move. “Law should be examined as it was a case of suicide,” he said. “We are prepared to discuss farmer deaths. But it should come in the form of an adjournment motion,” said Steel and Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Raghunath Mohanty.

“As there was no tradition to make an obituary reference for the farmers who had committed suicide, the Chair rejected the Opposition’s demand,” announced Amat. As soon as the announcement, members stormed into the floor of the House. Few of them also tried to enter the podium of the Speaker and the Speaker had to adjourn the House for five times.

Entry filed under: Agriculture, Agriculture and Irrigation, Farmer Suicide.

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