4th Test 3rd Innings: Opp rakes up lack of irrigation, distress sale issues

Bhubaneswar: At a time when the Naveen Patnaik government completed three years of its fourth term in Odisha today, the Opposition parties lambasted the ruling party over non-availability of irrigation facilities in the State, delay in opening mandis and distress sale of agro products.

Talking to OTV during a special show, 4th Test 3rd Innings, BJP leader Prithiviraj Harichandan stated, “In 2014 poll manifesto, though BJD had promised to irrigate 10 lakh hectares farmlands, many projects are still in the foundation-stone-laying stage. Despite the fact that Odisha is second highest across the country in having number of water bodies after Uttar Pradesh, the State lacks adequate irrigations.”

Besides, the party alleged delay in opening mandis is a conspiracy and happens every year. “Therefore, BJP is holding agitation every year over mandi issue and distress sale. It is unfortunate the State government lacks attitude to respond and does not pay heed to the demands,” Harichandan added.

Putting forth his party’s views, OPCC spokesperson Ganeswar Behera said, “The promises made by  the ruling party to irrigate all farmlands by March 31, 2017, have not been kept. Though agriculture is a State subject, the Centre is also responsible for lower price of agro products given to farmers. In its poll manifesto, the BJP had promised to increase minimum support price (MSP) by 50%, which is yet to be fulfilled.”

Refuting the allegations, agriculture minister Damodar Rout said, “It is unfortunate that the Central government is cutting Rs 5,000 crore allocations to the State under different schemes.”

He added some issues in bhu-bantan (land distribution) in Kalahandi led to the distress sale of crops this year.

BJD spokesperson Capt Dibya Shankar Mishra alleged BJP is politicising every matter, adding that mandi systems should be strengthened in the State.

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