BJD MP Prasanna Acharya criticises Centre for not fulfilling its promise of doubling farmers' income

Quoting the data of the National Crime Record Bureau, he said that 42,480 farmers and daily wage workers ended their lives in 2019, up six per cent from the previous year.

Published: 04th February 2022 04:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2022 04:13 PM   |  A+A-

Prasanna Acharya (Photo | Biswanath Swain/EPS)

BJD MP Prasanna Acharya (File Photo | Biswanath Swain, EPS)


NEW DELHI: BJD MP Prasanna Acharya on Friday criticised the Union government for paying only lip service on women empowerment and not fulfilling its promise to double the income of farmers by 2022.

Participating in the discussion on Motion of Thanks on the President's Address in the Rajya Sabha, he also raised concerns about the attempts being made by the Centre to "weaken" the federal structure of the country.

Acharya also pointed out that the central government was not accepting Odisha's demand to give special category status to the state. Though the senior BJD leader supported the motion, he said there were some contradictions in the words and deeds of the Union government.

At the outset, Acharya said, the government has taken the right decision to start the Republic Day celebrations from January 23, which is the birthday of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. He appreciated the Centre for taking a "nationalistic approach in some respect".

Raising the issue of farmers, Acharya said the government has not been able to meet the target of doubling their income by 2022. He also expressed concern over cases of farmer suicides. "Farmers' income has not been doubled. This is the promise of the government that by 2022, farmers' income will be doubled... Can the government say that by now, it has been able to double the income? No Sir. Farmers' income has not been doubled," he said.

Acharya asked why farmers are dying by suicides every day if their incomes have doubled. Quoting the data of the National Crime Record Bureau, he said that 42,480 farmers and daily wage workers ended their lives in 2019, up six per cent from the previous year. "Every year the number of farmers' suicides is going up. Why?" he sought to know.

Acharya said that the government is also not answering whether it will bring a law to give legal right to MSP. On women empowerment, he said the President's address termed it as one of the top priorities of the government.

"(But) It is just contrary to facts," he said and cited examples of the Sabrimala case and the women reservation bill to prove his point. "On the one hand we say about women emancipation and on the other hand, we prevent women from entering a temple and offer prayer to their lords. This is a double standard," the BJD leader said.

Pointing out that women's representation in both Parliament and assemblies is very low at around 10 per cent, Acharya said it is high time to bring the Women Reservation Bill. "Even in Muslim countries, women representation is higher," he said.

Acharya also rued that the Centre was not accepting the demand of the Odisha government for special category status to the state. The BJD leader alleged that the Centre is taking away the powers of states with every law being made and thereby weakening the federal structure of the country. "Kindly desist from doing this. Federalism is our essence," he noted.

Acharya also talked about "step-motherly treatment" to Odisha in awarding of central projects and demanded AIIMS at Sundargarh. He also questioned the Union government's policy for imposing cess and surcharges on various products like petroleum, saying it denies the states their rightful share in tax devolution.


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