Farmers hit the streets; demand pension, prestige, price

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Bhubaneswar: Thousands of farmers from across Odisha under the banner of Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) started a two-day march from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar on Wednesday demanding fulfillment of their demands.

According to sources, farmers from across the state took out of a rally after gathering in large numbers at Cuttack railway station today.

“The government should not run away from its responsibilities. It needs to admit the suicide of farmers and compensate the next of kin of the deceased. Besides, we demand a Rs 5, 000 per month pension scheme for 36 lakh farmers so that their future is taken care of,” said NNKS leader and Aama OdishaParty (AOP) President Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.

The farmers have threatened that they would hold a large demonstration at Lower PMG of Bhubaneswar tomorrow after a night halt near Hansapal to press their long pending demands such as implementation of pension scheme for farmers , payment of compensation to the kin of farmers who committed suicide, higher minimum support price, better procurement facilities, better social accord and drought compensation, among others, sources added.

“We are demanding that the government should give pension to farmers from the age of 20. Besides, we are holding this huge rally to ensure prestige, price and pension for all farmers across the state,” said Seshadeb Nanda, a member of the association.

Meanwhile, the BJD defended the state government saying it has actively supported farmers through various schemes.
“The state government has fixed minimum support price for farmers and at different points of time, government takes steps to provide more bonus and financial assistance. So, there is no point in pressing demands like this,” said BJD spokesperson Rabinarayna Nanda.

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