STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 14 July
BJP leader and former revenue, food and supplies minister, Mr Manmohan Samal today alleged that a ruling party leader was involved in a multi-crore fertiliser scam. He described the Naveen Patnaik government as anti-farmer and said spurious seeds and fertilizer were supplied to farmers.
Mr Samal said farmers, particularly in western Odisha districts like Nuapada had complained of such spurious supplies. A police complaint was lodged but no action was taken because the entire business is handled by a relative of a BJD legislator, he alleged.
Black-marketing of fertiliser and seeds is the order of the day in several districts, he said. Even procurement operations are rigged and distressed farmers are forced to sell their paddy at less than the minimum support price to traders from other states, he said.
Mr Samal claimed that Naba Durga, a farmer in the Junagarh area in Kalahandi district had died after waiting for over a week to sell his paddy at the mandi. Less than half of the targeted 6.5 lakh quintal of seeds has been disbursed to farmers this year, he said. Mr Samal said that even water was being given to industrial houses at a time when it ought to have been released for agricultural operations. He demanded a White Paper on the procurement and supply of seeds and fertiliser.