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BJD, BJP, Congress hit the streets on farmer’s issues

IANS | Bhubaneshwar |

Hectic political activities were witnessed here on Monday with three major political parties — the BJD, the Congress and the BJP — taking out rallies and staging demonstrations on farmers’ issues.

While Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal staged a demonstration near Raj Bhawan, blaming the Central government for not hiking Minimum Support Price on paddy, the BJP resorted to ‘Secretariat gherao’ for delay in disbursing agriculture input subsidy to the farmers, whose crops were damaged due to unseasonal rain.

The Congress, on the other hand, trained its gun at both the Union and state governments for ignoring the plight of farmers and playing politics on their agony.

BJD spokesperson Amar Satapathy said: “We are demanding hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) on paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal.”

“Even though the matter was passed in the state Assembly and it was decided to meet the Prime Minister to press the demand, the Prime Minister did not give time to meet the all-party house committee led by Assembly Speaker.”

The party has also submitted a memorandum to Governor S.C. Jamir addressed to the President of India, said Satapathy.

The state wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party took out a rally in a bid to barge into the state secretariat — an attempt thwarted by the police.

“The state government should waive farm loan for the benefit of the distressed farmers,” said state BJP president Basant Panda.

“It should also announce bonus on paddy. But it did nothing. Moreover, the state government is yet to disburse agriculture input subsidy to the farmers hit by unseasonal rainfall and pest attack.”

The Congress submitted a memorandum, addressed to the President, to the Governor seeking his intervention to address the farmers’ issue.

“We have submitted a memorandum to Governor S.C. Jamir demanding an increase in the MSP of paddy to Rs 3,000 per quintal,” said Congress Farmers’ Cell President Amiya Patnaik.

“Both the Central and state governments have betrayed the farmers. The party will fight for the rights of the farmers.”

Meanwhile, the state government has received crop damage reports from all the 30 districts relating to unseasonal rain.

The reports are to be compiled on Monday and agriculture input subsidy would be disbursed after the report is finalised, said an official of the Special Relief Commissioner.