Govt’s ‘locust standi’ on pests

Jaipur: Crop of over 1.49 lakh hectares has been damaged in various districts of the state due to locust attacks since May. Now, both the parties, BJP and Congress, are leaving no stone unturned to target each in the state. Where one party is in favour of the centre, the party wants to politicise the work done for the farmers in the state. The locust attack continuing in the state was echoed in the assembly on Monday.

During the discussion on the Governor’s address, where many legislators raised this issue, the state government also made a government statement on this important issue. While giving an official statement, Agriculture Minister Lalchand Kataria said that fresh locust swarms entered the country in December 2019 due to wind intensity and lack of effective control over locusts by neighbouring country Pakistan.

Kataria added that some countries have even had to declare a national emergency due to locust attacks. Till date, the locust control exercise had been taken up on 5.29 lakh hectares and pesticides were given to farmers at 100 per cent subsidy. He was responding to criticism by the opposition. Earlier, Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore said that the state government cannot shy away from its responsibility.

On the comment of opposition, CM Ashok Gehlot intervened and said that Rathore was speaking without complete knowledge. Gehlot said that your Union Minister in the Rajya Sabha has said that the Rajasthan government did the best job in locust control. Even if you don’t believe us, trust the union minister of your government.

It was told in the assembly that the government conducted girdawari for the first time during the disaster.

Moreover, the FAO and the central government have appreciated the efforts of the state government. On the other hand, BJP MLAs demanded an inquiry into the ill effects of pesticides.