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PTI

The opposition Congress and the BJP on Saturday came down heavily on the BJD government in Odisha, accusing the Naveen Patnaik dispensation of failing to effectively manage paddy procurement in the state, thus causing difficulties for farmers.

The paddy procurement issue was raised in the House during a discussion on admissibility of an adjournment motion moved by the Congress in this matter.

BJP members also participated in the debate and held the state government responsible for the plight of farmers who allegedly suffered in the mandis (marketplace) for the government's flawed policies.

Participating in the discussion, Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra sought to know why CCTVS have not been installed in the mandis.

"The government has no answer as to why the previous system for paddy procurement was discontinued. It has joined hands with unscrupulous traders to exploit the farmers," Mishra alleged.

Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi of the BJP alleged that farmers were being taken for a ride by rice millers.

Farmers are not being able to sell paddy despite having tokens issued by the government as the rice millers are looking for ways to reject them," the BJP MLA said.

Replying to the queries of opposition parties, Minister for Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare, Ranendra Pratap Swain, said that advanced technology was being used to survey paddy fields.

"More than 1.08 lakh farmers have been registered recently. Besides, 91 society secretaries have been suspended for irregularities."

Swain also told the House that the around 29 per cent more farmers have participated in the paddy procurement process in 2019-20.

Earlier in the day, the House witnessed a ruckus as the opposition Congress members staged an agitation in the well over the alleged deterioration in the state's law and order situation.

They demanded cancellation of the question hour for a discussion on law and order.

Speaker SN Patro adjourned the House for one hour from 10.30 am.

Proceedings finally resumed after 11.30 am.

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