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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD and the BJP, on Friday, took to the streets taking up various famer issues, including hike in paddy MSP and farm loan waiver.

Protesting the hike of Rs 80 in paddy minimum support price (MSP) by the Centre, BJD party activists staged a demonstration and held a protest meeting in front of the Raj Bhavan here. The activists alleged that the move shows the anti-farmer policy of the Centre and its promise to double the paddy MSP before the elections was just an ‘eyewash’.

They demanded that the Centre approves the state government recommendation of increasing the MSP of paddy to Rs 2930 per quintal. Later, activists of the BJD farmers' wing led by Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout and Panchayati Raj Minister Pradip Maharathy submited a memorandum to the Governor addressing the President.

Minister Rout said, "The Prime Minister announced that the MSP for paddy in Odisha will be increased by a meagre of Rs 80. The decision will affect the livelyhood of farmers in the state. Various farmers’ bodies and other organisations are opposing the decision. Accordingly the BJD farmers’ wing today held a protest meeting and submitted a memorandum to the Governor addressing the President."

Party spokesperson Sameer Das said, “Though the Prime Minister had said he would double the MSP if BJP comes to power, the party failed to keep its promises. To distract attention of the State’s people, they are talking about farm loan waiver.”

On the other hand, the BJP Krusak Morcha staged a demonstration in front of the all district Collectors’ offices today demanding farm loan waiver and zero interest loan to farmers.

The party questioned as to why the Odisha government is yet to take a decision on farm loan waiver when states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have already announced loan waivers for farmers.

They also alleged that the state government is not taking any responsibility whereas the BJD spokespersons are only involved in criticising the Centre when it comes to farm loan waiver. The party activists later submitted a memorandum to the Collectors addressing the President.

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