Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: Amid the ongoing protests by farmers in Odisha, voices against the State government’s token system in paddy procurement were heard in Lok Sabha today.
BJP MP from Bargarh, Suresh Pujari in the Lower House today reiterated that the Odisha government’s token system will destroy the entire farmer community in the State.
“At a time when the farmers should have sold their paddy, they are currently on streets protesting the token system. National Highways have been blocked because of the Odisha government’s token system. It will not work here and there is a need to re-introduce the first-come-first-serve system for procurement,” said Pujari.
He further said, “No state in the country follows the token system in procurement and it will adversely affect the Odisha farmers.”
Pujari further requested the Speaker to direct the Centre to hold discussions with the Odisha government and resolve the issue by withdrawing the token system as soon as possible and make proper arrangements for speedy procurement of paddy in the interest of the lakhs of farmers and their families.
On the other hand, farmers in Bargarh today blocked the NH-53 by placing paddy sacks at Godbhaga protesting the token system. Vehicular movement was disrupted between Bargarh and Sambalpur on account of the road blockade.
Similarly, farmers in Sambalpur staged road blockade near Bareipali. To pacify the farmers, Minister Sushant Singh and MLA Rohit Pujari held discussions with farmers in Bareipali. The agitation was later withdrawn after assurances from Singh and Pujari, informed farmer association convenor, Ashok Pradhan.
Besides, farmers under the aegis of Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) took out a rally from PMG Square to Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar seeking immediate withdrawal of the token system. NNKS leaders Akshay Kumar and Seshadev Nanda along with several other farmers were taken into preventive custody by police.
Moreover, Odisha Assembly witnessed repeated adjournments today over the introduction of token system in paddy procurement.