Bhubaneswar: Protesting paltry hike in minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, BJD today decided to stage a week-long demonstration across the State from July 10.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, vice-president of the party Debi Prasad Mishra criticized the BJP government for making a mockery of farmers' plight in the State. "The hike of Rs 80 per quintal of paddy speaks much about the intention of the Centre in dealing with the issue. The Modi government has betrayed the farmers," said Mishra.
Criticizing the Prime Minister for not fulfilling the election promise on MSP on paddy, Mishra said the hike of Rs 80 will further push the farmer into distress. As per its election manifesto, the BJP should increase the MSP of paddy to one and a half time of the production cost, added Mishra.
As the Centre-fixed MSP on paddy is less than the production cost, a unanimous resolution was passed in the Odisha Assembly demanding that it should be fixed at Rs 2,930 per quintal. An Assembly Committee headed by the Speaker was constituted to meet the PM and apprise him of the issue, but he is not finding time to even meet the committee," alleged Mishra.
Replying to Mishra's comment, BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said BJD should introspect. "The party ruled Odisha for 17 years but failed to improve irrigation, electricity and other issues which further resulted in low production and farmers committing suicide. BJP will keep its words. The party is making all possible efforts for the development of farmers in the State," said Mohapatra.
Accusing the Naveen government of having anti-farmer policies, Mohapatra asked, “Why the BJD government is not waiving off loans for the farmer like the BJP ruled States?”
Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik described the Centre's hike in MSP as ‘disappointing’ and said farmers’ issue cannot be solved without the support of the Centre.
Besides, activists of the BJD farmers’ wing led by Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout and Panchayati Raj Minister Pradip Maharathy, on Friday, submitted a memorandum related to the issue to the Governor addressing the President.