Bhubaneswar: Issues of token mismanagement, paddy procurement delay and mandi misrule have set political stage between the Odisha BJP and the ruling BJD on fire once again.
Odisha Food and Supplies Minister Ranendra Swain on Wednesday claimed that paddy procurement continues to sail in the State smoothly and refused to accept widespread allegations on setbacks in the procurement process.
The minister also informed that a team led by the State Food and Supplies Secretary is off to Delhi to meet the concerned ministry officials to take up the State’s demand for release of around Rs 7500 crore subsidy amount.
On the other hand, the Odisha unit of BJP criticised the ruling party and alleged that the government is trying to paint a rosy picture of the actual crisis hitting the paddy procurement process in the State.
The saffron party said that while the Centre has released around Rs 18000 crore to the State for paddy procurement, almost all mandis in the State are piled up with the harvested crop without procurement.
It further alleged that in order to divert the attention from the crisis, the BJD government has thrown the ball to the Centre’s court.
“During last year’s Kharif season, the total amount of paddy procured was 2,97,848 metric tonne, but this year, we have managed to procure around 3,41,266 metric tonne of crops even though the season is yet to be far from over. This means that effectively, we have collected 18 per cent more paddy in 2020-2021 than in 2019-2020 season,” said Swain while speaking to reporters.
However, reacting to his claims, senior BJP leader Jayanarayan Mishra said, "The State Food Supplies Minister should visit market yards first to study the reality of paddy procurement status before commenting anything on it because as far as we can see, paddy stocks are lying everywhere at mandis across the State,” said Mishra.