Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Amidst the ongoing nationwide agitation over demands to repeal the three enacted farm reform laws, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come down heavily on the Opposition parties for allegedly creating hurdles in the development of farmers and the farming community.

At a presser today, BJP State president Samir Mohanty lauded the Modi government’s pro-farmer measures and said the farmers are no more in the shackles of the middlemen. “What the farm laws has done is it has rattled the middlemen. They are powerless now. The new laws are in no way going to affect the farmers, rather they have been empowered.”

“The agitators are being instigated by a few political parties and the middlemen. Only for political gains, they are now shedding crocodile tears,” Mohanty alleged.

BJD, on the other hand, said the party has always stood for the interests of the farmers and will continue to do so. “We are aware of the farmers’ demands and we feel it is important to fulfil those demands. Even during its passage in Rajya Sabha, the BJD had opposed the twin farm bills. However we are looking forward to the discussions between Centre and farmers' unions tomorrow (December 9). The party’s stance is clear, we are with the farmers,” minister Padmanabha Behera said.

Speaking on the issue, BJD MP Sasmit Patra had stated that the party has drawn Centre’s attention towards resolving the issues concerning farmers and clarify all their apprehensions. “BJD has always demanded doubling of MSPs as suggested by Swaminathan Committee and will maintain it for the benefits of farmers,” Patra had said.

READ | Bharat Bandh: Odisha Congress Raises Questions On BJD’s Silence

However, targeting the BJP and the BJD, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik said both these parties are two sides of the same coin. “Let’s keep aside questions over their support to the bandh call, BJD had supported the Centre while passage of farm bills in the Lower House. Many political parties who had extended support then are voicing their support for the bandh now. There is no difference between BJP and BJD, it’s clear,” said Niranjan.

The OPCC chief further questioned, “What has BJD done for the farmers in the last 21 years? Whatever development the country has seen in the last 72 years, it is because of the Congress. BJD is just fooling the farmers with fake promises and false assurances."

SEE PICS | Bharat Bandh Throws Normal Lives Into Disarray In Odisha