Sharmili Mallick

New Delhi: Reiterating their demand for a hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, the ruling BJD will stage a day-long demonstration at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on 8 January. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is also expected to join the protest, informed party's Vice-President Prasanna Acharya.

Addressing a presser held in New Delhi today, Acharya said, "We have been demanding a hike in the paddy MSP to Rs 2,930 per quintal and a resolution in this regard was passed in Odisha Assembly earlier which was also supported by both Congress and BJP. But the Centre is yet to respond," alleged Acharya.

In order to put forth the demands of the farmers of Odisha, the BJD’s farmer wing will stage a day-long sit-in protest at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on January 8, informed Acharya who is also the President of Biju Krushak Janata Dal.

The protest will be attended by farmers, MP, MLAs and leaders of the party from all the 30 districts of the State.

A delegation of BJD will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan after the demonstration and submit a memorandum over the party’s demands, stated MP Bhartruhari Mahtab at the presser.

Sources said, all the MLAs, MPs, leaders, farmers and youth wings of the party will leave for New Delhi in a special train on January 5 to take part in the mega agitation.

On the other hand, Odisha BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said, "BJD had failed to provide basic facilities like irrigation, power supply, storage facilities to the farmers in the State. If BJD was really concerned for the farmers, it would have provided bonus to them to lessen their burden. The party is going to Delhi for picnic and shedding crocodile tears on farmers’ issue."