A delegation of BJP MPs led by Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi sought the intervention of the Union Food Minister Piyush Goyal to the shoddy paddy procurement process and exploitation of farmers in Odisha.
They requested Goyal to depute a central team and assess the situation that has led to acute distress of farmers.
“Odisha government has institutionalized the exploitation of Odisha’s paddy farmers through an inefficient & flawed paddy procurement processes, lack of logistical support and an immoral symbiosis with mandi mafia operating in guise of brokers, agents, millers and other middle-men”.
The move of the BJP comes a day after a delegation of BJD MPs had met Goyal to point out that non-release of subsidy by the centre and failure of the FCI in evacuating rice has created a huge problem for the state.
Hitting back in less than 24 hours, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan led the MPs to Goyal and submitted a memorandum.
The ruling BJD, in its misleading and malicious statements about not receiving Central financial support for paddy procurement, has been conveniently trying to belie its own systematic failure in governance and management of allied agricultural & extension services to Odisha’s farmers, stated the BJP memorandum.
It expressed “deep concern over the scuttling of paddy procurement in Odisha by the State Government causing great distress to Odisha’s farmers”.
There have also been many cases reported in local media where farmers have been prohibited from selling due quantities of their harvest as per their landholding so as to favour a few political supporters of the BJD at a heavy cost to many small and marginal farmers, charged the BJP.
The BJP MPs went on to list out the achievements of the central government stating since 2014, over 370 lakh metric ton (LMT) of paddy has been procured by Central Government at MSP amounting to Rs. 60,594 crores for Odisha’s farmers.
Under PM KISAN, So far Rs. 3,274.21 crores has been transferred to all the eligible registered farmers in Odisha and Rs. 4424.85 crores worth of Insurance claims disbursed.
It is the malpractices, inefficiencies and unethical abuse of authority by state government officers that has led to farmers distress in Odisha, alleged the BJP.
The token system, non-revision of ceiling despite a bumper crop, mandi mafia were other allegations leveled by the BJP.