Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Amid frequent stalling of Odisha Assembly by the Opposition over the alleged paddy procurement irregularities, State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain on Wednesday made it crystal clear that the government does not have any willingness to purchase paddy from traders.

Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of shedding crocodile tears, Swain said procurement of paddy from genuine farmers will continue till March 31.

“I personally request all the members to provide list and address of the genuine farmers whose paddy has not been procured yet. Many lists have been given and the problems of the farmers have been sorted out,” the Minister told media.

He said the State government has borrowed Rs 19,000 crore to procure paddy from farmers.

“The government is not interested in procuring paddy from traders. The BJP is shedding crocodile tears in the matter. Why don’t they move to Delhi and demand release of Rs 5,600 crore,” he pointed out.

Reacting to the recent suicide bid by MLA Subash Panigrahi in the State Assembly, Swain said, “It aimed at creating false impression that they (BJP) are with the farmers.”

He demanded apology from the legislator for the act.

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)