Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday intensified its ongoing agitation against Centre for rejecting Odisha’s demand for increasing the paddy minimum support price (MSP).

The leaders and activists of the party today staged dharna in 17 districts including Bargarh, Boudh, Sonepur, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Koraput as part of their State-wide agitation against the Centre’s negligence towards the farmers’ plight.

The State government had earlier placed a demand to hike the MSP of paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal which was turned down by the Centre despite unanimous resolution passed by Odisha Assembly last year.

BJD leaders during demonstrations condemned the statements of Union Agriculture Minister’s written reply in Parliament regarding fixation of paddy MSP at Rs 1,550 for 2017-18 financial year as it provided a profit margin of Rs 443 per quintal to farmers against their cost of production as estimated by Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.

Terming BJP led NDA government at Centre as ‘anti-farmer’, the BJD had earlier announced to stage dharna in all blocks of 14 districts in the State from January 8 to January 17.

BJD alleged that Centre has turned a blind eye towards the plight of farmers in Odisha who were affected by pest menace and crop loss due to drought and unseasonal rains last year.

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