Mallick's 'ladoo' remark triggers controversy

Bhubaneswar: Ruling BJD women's wing president and MLA Pramila Mallick has made 'Amar Ladoo' (immortality sweet) remark in the context of farmers committing suicide due to crop loss and debt burden in Odisha, inviting criticism from the opposition.

The BJD legislator had yesterday suggested the Opposition parties distribute 'amar ladoo' among the farmers and make efforts so that the people of Odisha would never die.

Mallick, however, today discounted the opposition charge and claimed that she had never made light of the suffering farmers and had targetted the opposition hullabaloo over the suicide issue.

"My contention was against the opposition parties who give colour to all suicide cases," she said in a clarification.

BJD sources said Mallick also met Chief Minister and party president Naveen Patnaik and presented her side of story.

"I have not made the remark aginst the farmers," she explained to the chief minister, the sources said adding Patnaik, however, expressed displeasure over the "Amar Ladoo" remark.

Meanwhile the women's wing activists of the Opposition Congress burnt effigies of Mallick here, even as the BJP Mahila Morcha demanded an apology from the senior BJD leader for her alleged anti-farmer remark.

OPCC president Prasad Harichandan said Mallick's remark refects the BJD government's attitude towards the farmers who commit suicide out of frustration and abject poverty.

At a press briefing here, BJP Mahila Morcha leader Surama Padhi said the statement of Mallick on 'amar ladoo' has dealt a body blow to the entire farmer community.

"The BJP strongly condemns the statement of the BJD leader and former Women and Child Development Minister Pramila Mallick suggesting 'amar ladoo' for the farmers so that they would never die.

Besides, she has said the Opposition is enacting farce and the media is publishing biased news. Being a mother, she has gone above her sensitivity," Padhi said. 

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