Pradeep Pattanayak

The agrarian festival ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ was celebrated across Odisha as per the age-old tradition on Sunday. The leaders of political parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Congress took part in the celebration. 

On the other hand, the farmers alleged the leaders’ participation in the festival would bring no joy to them. They alleged that they are yet to receive seeds. 

While Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik participated in a special programme organised by the Department of Agriculture at the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) farm in Bhubaneswar and performed the ritual of Akhi Muthi Anukula’, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs and Jal Shakti, Bishweswar Tudu, BJP State President Manmohan Samal, PCC chief Sarat Patnaik and Senior Congress leader Suresh Routray performed the special rituals in Kendrapara, Jajpur’s Sukinda, Jharsuguda and Khordha’s Jatni respectively. 

“It is a special programme in which CM Patnaik participated. The occasion has been marked by rain which is a good sign for the farmers of Odisha,” said Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain. 

“It is an auspicious day for the farmers who are the fulcrum of our economy. Apart from farmers, other people too start their work on this day,” said BJP state president Samal. 

PCC chief Patnaik said, “I am praying for the farmers’ well beings. There should be greenery everywhere and the farmers’ production should go up.”

At the same time, the farmers accused the leaders of pretending to be sympathetic towards the farmers. They alleged they were yet to receive seeds. 

“I am 81 years old. I have been growing crops for the last seven years. But I have received nothing. I am still waiting for a pucca house under any awas yojana,” rued a farmer in Khordha. 

Another farmer from Kendrapara, Abhay Patra alleged they are yet to receive seeds. 

When asked, Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said, “There is a huge stock of seeds to meet demands. The government will fulfil the wants of farmers according to their respective agro-climatic conditions.”