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BJP Walks Out Amidst Drought Discussion In Jharkhand Assembly

The Speaker said the discussion on drought-like situation had been decided in Business Advisory Committee meeting, which was also participated by BJP representatives CP Singh and Aparna Sengupta. 

BJP Walks Out Amidst Drought Discussion In Jharkhand Assembly
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A special discussion in the Jharkhand Assembly on the drought-like situation was held on Monday amidst a walkout by BJP legislators, who were demanding that the state be declared drought hit before the discussion. 

The House business resumed after the lunch break at 2 pm. The saffron party legislators came to the well in farmers’ attire and demanded Jharkhand be declared drought hit immediately by the government. 

The Speaker and treasury bench wanted it to be declared after the discussion. Taking a jibe at BJP legislators, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said, “I have been seeing them (BJP) since morning in new dress. But, they are not original farmers.” 

He said, “We are here to discuss the situation in the backdrop of scanty rainfall in the state. In this situation, such uproar is a conspiracy to paralyse the House proceedings.”

The CM said the government is sensitive on issues of farmers, poor and labourers. “I have raised my concern over the scanty rainfall through many platforms. Government is working on its plan. You (BJP) give your suggestions and government will take a decision accordingly,” Soren said.    

The Speaker said the discussion on drought-like situation had been decided in Business Advisory Committee meeting, which was also participated by BJP representatives CP Singh and Aparna Sengupta. 

Singh said, “We had demanded in the meeting that the state government to declare Jharkhand as famine area and then discuss. But, it is discussing on drought.”

The Speaker assured him that it would be declared by the government after the discussion. Then, the Speaker started the proceeding. As the legislator Pradeep Yadav started raising his points on the issue, BJP legislators walked out of the House. 

Several legislators including JMM’s Lobin Hembrom, Congress’ Uma Shankar Akela, CPI (ML) legislator Vinod Kumar Singh, AJSU’s Lamodaro Mahto, JMM’s Baidyanath Ram and Congress’ Deepika Pandey Singh placed their points on the issue. They demanded the government to announce drought and stop migration of farmers, ensure fodders for livestock, develop minor and major irrigation facilities in the state. 

In response, state Agriculture minister Badal Patralekh told the House that a high level review meeting under the chairmanship of the chief minister will soon be held to take decision on drought. 

“As per the government manual, drought could be declared for kharif crop by October end. The drought can be declared in August on specific conditions. The sowing season in Jharkhand is considered till August 15. Even though the state is undergoing drought like situation, we have to observe it till August 15,” Patralekh said. 

As per the manual, state could notify drought following three parameters-Trigger-1 (rainfall parameter), Trigger-2 (impact indicators such as crop, remote sensing, soil moisture and hydrology) and Trigger-3 verification (ground truth). He said the sowing situation is worrying, as overall sowing coverage in the state is 24.37 per cent, while paddy sowing is 15.41 per cent till date. 

“We are working on many drought relief plans. As many as five lakh new ration cards will be distributed so that no one suffers due to hunger. If required, Didi kitchen could also be started,” the minister said. 

He said if the situation turns more critical, an adult person could be given Rs 60 per day, while a child Rs 45 as ex-gratia. Badal said the fund required to deal with the drought-like situation would soon be decided.

(With PTI inputs)

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