Farmers lock RDC office in Sambalpur, demand input subsidy

Sambalpur: Thousands of agitating farmers on Thursday locked up Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC)’s office here demanding input subsidy and Rs 100 per quintal bonus for the paddy cultivators.

Staging a sit-in in front of the office of RDC, farmers of the region held the official responsible for non-implementation of the policies of the State government meant for them. They demanded that the State government must fulfil their five-point charter of demands else they would hit the streets and strengthen their agitation in the days to come.

It was only after the police intervened and assured to take up the matter with the RDC, they unlocked the gate.
Earlier in the day holding placards, the sloganeering peasants under the aegis of Western Odisha Farmers’ Organisation Cooperation Committee undertook a massive rally in the town. They alleged that the chief minister’s assurance to provide bonus of Rs 100 to the paddy cultivators is yet to be materialised.

“In the Sohela convention chief minister Naveen Patnaik had declared to provide the farmers with Rs 100 as compensation towards the crop loss against per quintal of paddy. But we are yet to receive the benefit,” said farmer leader Lingaraj.

“Last year the State government had declared crop insurance and input subsidy for the farmers. But we want to ask the government how much time it will take to implement all these? The government should not announce anything which it can’t fulfil,” said another farmer.

The farmers’ body has also demanded that the State government should not make Aadhar card mandatory as identification of farmers for sale of paddy. It has threatened to hit streets if the government fails to resolve their issues in this ongoing Assembly session.

“When a major chunk of the farmers have not received their Aadhar numbers due to some reason or the other, how it could be mandatory for the sale of paddy?” asked Saroj, another farmer.

They have threatened to boycott the ensuing panchayat polls if their demands are not met.

Reacting on the development BJD spokesperson Dibya Shankar Mishra said the State government will soon resolve their issues.