War of words broke out over Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Biju Janta Dal (BJD) in Odisha ahead of the Padampur bye-election.

BJD accused BJP of doing politics over the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and claimed that the farmers’ insurance money was released only after pressure from the farmers and continuous follow-up by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

BJD Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra said, “Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met and submitted a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar over Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana instalment. The people of Odisha have seen the anti-farmer attitude of the BJP. Genuine Fasal Bima claims of Odisha farmers were not given for a long time.”

“Despite regular follow-up from Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Odisha’s Cooperation Minister, the Centre was holding up the Fasal Bima instalments of the farmers”, alleged the BJD MP.

“After pressure from farmers and continuous follow-up by Odisha CM, now the Centre released the Fasal Bima. The BJP has seen the wrath of the farmers after the Fasal Bima instalments were stopped in Odisha,” he added.

Similarly in 2019, the BJP tried to stop the KALIA Scheme which was pro-farmer. Odisha CM went to Chief Electoral Officer’s (CEO) Office in Bhubaneswar and personally intervened and explained about it. Finally, the scheme was cleared, stated the Rajya Sabha MP.

“Biju Janata Dal does not believe in doing politics on farmers’ issues. There are many other issues to do politics on. The Yojana itself is named Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The Fasal Bima is therefore to be paid by BJP-led Centre. But for so many months, the Centre kept delaying it,” said Patra.
Speaking about the letter submitted by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Patra said, “Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan knows well that there is no merit in his letter. The said HDFC company was empanelled by the Centre itself. How did the Centre empanel a company which is so corrupt in the first place? Union Minister Pradhan should answer that first. How is such a company then working in BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Tripura and Maharashtra? Secondly, by mentioning that collusion has taken place in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana he has in fact indicted his own government of irregularities in a Central Programme. The Centre should now admit that they have failed to run a clean Central Government programme.”

According to Patra, this is just another classic example of the BJP trying to mislead the Odisha farmers by deflecting the fact that it was the Centre that was blocking the payment of crop insurance. “The central government should reply to the farmers of bypoll-bound Padampur as to why it took so long to disburse the instalments”, he added.

The Padampur bye-election will be held on December 5 and the results are scheduled to be declared on December 8.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded Pradip Purohit as its candidate for the upcoming bye-election to the Padampur Assembly Constituency in Odisha’s Bargarh district.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha has fielded late party MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha’s daughter Barsha Singh Bariha in the Padampur assembly seat bypoll.

The Padampur bypoll was necessitated following the demise of sitting BJD MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha on October 3. (ANI)