Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Opposition parties on Monday created ruckus in Odisha Assembly alleging irregularities in paddy procurement and non-lifting of paddy from several mandis across the State.

Though both the BJP and the Congress members tried to corner the State government over such irregularities and moved an adjournment motion seeking a discussion, it was turned down by Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro.

Opposition MLAs alleged that huge quantity of paddy is still lying at mandis and yet to be lifted. They said that the farmers are also left in distress due to ‘Katni Chatni’ where nearly five to six kg of paddy is arbitrarily deducted in the name of FAQ.

“Farmers are being looted and thier produce is not being lifted. Even the concerned minister had earlier admitted an irregularity of nearly Rs 500 crore. When the government has already admitted irregularities in paddy procurement, the issue needs to be discussed in the Assembly,” said senior Congress leader, Narasingha Mishra.

Mishra further stated that whatever alibi is being given by the State government is totally not acceptable.

“There are reports of rain in several parts but paddy is yet to be lifted. The registration process of farmers is yet to be compelted despite intervention of district collectors. Amidst such irregularities, the farmers of the State are staring at an uncertain future,” said Congress MLA, Tara Prasad Bahinipati.

It is pertinent to mention here that Speaker Speaker S N Patro, last week, had directed Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain to convene a meeting of the district officials and MLAs to resolve the paddy procurement problem.

“The introduction of token system is a wrong policy which has adversely affected paddy procurement in several parts including Western Odisha. Today, we moved an adjournment motion but it was not accepted by the Speaker,” said BJP MLA, Mohan Majhi.

Responding to the allegations of the Opposition parties, BJD MLA Amar Satpathy said, “It is not related to problems of farmers, rather it is the problem of the opposition parties as they don't want the House to function smoothly.”

Satpathy further stated that problems could never be resolved by stalling the proceedings of the House. The government is concerned about the problems of farmers and recently a separate agriculture budget was presented in the Assembly.