At a time when farmers are waiting for mandis to be opened so that they can sell their harvested paddy, the state units of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress on Sunday launched a fierce attack on the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ruling dispensation over the delay in the opening of the mandis.
The farmers across the state are apprehensive about getting the true value of their paddy as they have learnt it the hard way how token issue and mandi problem affect the selling of paddy. Meanwhile, taking advantage of mandis not being opened as yet, unscrupulous traders have started procuring paddy from the farmers at a price far below than the MSP.
“While those farmers whose paddy is yet to ripe are getting tokens, those whose paddy is ripe are yet to receive tokens. Besides the token issue, farmers are afraid of unseasonal rain. Without mandis, we are facing a lot of problems,” said Ekadasia Sahu, a farmer of Bargarh district.
Sensing the seriousness of the situation, the state units of the BJP and the Congress have started cornering the ruling BJD government.
BJP MLA Mukesh Mahaling has shot off a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanding opening of mandis by November 15.
“Paddy dealers and unscrupulous millers have started procuring paddy from farmers at Rs 1,500 and Rs 1,200. So, our request to the Chief Minister is that he should take steps to open mandis by November 15,” said Mahaling.
On the other hand, senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra alleged that unscrupulous businessmen have a nexus with the government.
“It seems to me that the unscrupulous traders have a nexus with the government. I hope the secretaries, during their visit, will find this out,” said Mishra.
When asked, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said, “We are maintaining transparency in the systems taken up to provide assistance to farmers. Secretaries will analyse this during their visit to different districts.”