Bhubaneswar: Hitting out at the BJD-led Odisha government over massive irregularities in Mandis, the State BJP has decided to take to the streets for two days- July 1 and 2.
Demanding procurement of unsold paddy from the farmers under the MSP fixed by the Central government, the party has decided to stage protests in front of all Mandis and CSO (Civil Supplies Office) offices.
“The State government had assured farmers to procure their unsold paddy from June 30. Even though just one day is left, it seems government has not initiated process for the procurement. Protesting lackadaisical approach of the government, the State BJP has decided to organise agitations on July 1 and 2 in strict adherence to Covid protocols,” BJP State president Sameer Mohanty informed on Tuesday while addressing a press meet.
BJP supporters and farmers will stage demonstration in front of the Mandis and CSOs, Mohanty added.
Sacks of paddy are piled up at various mandis under the open sky. Bags of paddy have sprouted due to monsoon rain, he added. Farmers are also spending sleepless nights at the procurement centres. But the government is yet to wake up from its deep slumber, Mohanty alleged.
BJD, on the other hand, countered the national party alleging enactment of faulty farm laws which would largely affect the interest of farming community.
“The BJP-led Central government has started process to abolish the Mandi system. BJP is trying to hand over the procurement system to corporate houses,” BJD MLA Sushant Singh said.
Earlier, RMCs (Regulated Market Committees) used to procure the paddy and supply to the FCI (Food Corporation of India). Now, the Central government has assigned the charge to FCI directly, he added.
The farmers have been agitating in Delhi for around a year over contentious farm laws. But, the Centre is yet to resolve their issues, Singh said.
Meanwhile, the Congress party protested in Koraput district alleging gross irregularities in paddy procurement. The party supporters staged road blockade on the National Highway 26. They blocked the road at Boriguma, Koraput, Semiliguda causing serious traffic snarls on the highways.
The protesters demanded procurement of unsold paddy under fixed MSP from the farmers and Rs 500 bonus per quintal of paddy.