Pandemonium in Odisha Assembly over farmers’ detention

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly today witnessed adjournment due to pandemonium over farmers’ detention at various places ahead of their rally in Bhubaneswar.

Uproarious scenes were witnessed in the House after Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra raised the matter soon after it assembled for the day. However, Mishra’s demand to discuss the issue was rejected by deputy Speaker Sanand Marandi, following which Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati and his party legislators stormed into the well and shouted slogans against the government. Unable to run the House, the deputy Speaker adjourned it till 3 pm.

Later, the Congress MLAs moved to Raj Bhavan and took issues of farmers to Governor SC Jamir. The law makers approached the Governor for his intervention into the matter. They demanded immediate release of farmers from police custody.

Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said detention of farmers is undemocratic. “This is a clear violation of farmers’ right”, he added.

The Congress party also demanded immediate release of the peasants. “We demand immediate and unconditional release of farmers, those have been kept forcefully at various stations and bus stops. Police thrashed the pesants at various places and some of them sustained injuries. We met the Governor seeking his intervention and he assured us of an investigation”, Congress MLA and Opposition chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati said.

Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy said he is always ready to address the farmers’ issues. “Leader of Opposition raised the matter in House. But I have nothing to do with that as the deputy Speaker denied him”, Maharathy said.

“No representative of the Navnirman Krushak Sanghathan has met me or submitted a memorandum. I am not aware about their problems. I am always ready to discuss the farmers’ issues”, he added.

Upon being asked about the farmers’ detention, the minister said- “Ask the chief minister in this regard”.

Also read: Odisha Assembly adjourned twice over demonetisation

Notably, police detained over 400 farmers who were on their way to a rally under the banner of Navnirman Krushak Sangathan. Hundreds of members of the outfit were also help up at various railway station including Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Raghunathpur in Jagatsinghpur, Keonjhar and Jajpur.

The farmers’ organisation had called for a convention to discuss the demand for Price, Pension and prestige, which was long-standing demand of the outfit.

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