Odisha assembly witnesses pandemonium for 7th day

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly today witnessed pandemonium and frequent adjournments over farmers issue for the seventh consecutive day with opposition Congress and BJP demanding unanimous resolution to increase minimum support price (MSP) on paddy.

The issue was raised as soon as the House assembled for the question hour. The Congress members rushed to the well of the House demanding passing of a resolution for increasing the MSP on paddy to Rs 2,800. The BJP members keep on standing near their seats in support of the Congress’s demand.

Unable to run the House, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the proceeding several times. The opposition members also raised questions on the ruling BJD’s lack of interest in passing unanimous resolution in regard to MSP.

Agriculture Minister Pradeep Kumar Maharathy, however, rejected the opposition allegation and claimed that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written at least three letters to the Centre seeking enhancement of the MSP on paddy.

“The Chief Minister has written to the Prime Minister on the MSP matter on January 1, 2015, December 8, 2015 and again on December 24, 2916. Therefore, nobody should suspect the state government’s sincerity towards farmers.” Maharathy said.

Stating that enhancement of the MSP on food grains was the responsibility of the Centre, the agriculture minister said the state government has been demanding to increase the MSP on paddy to Rs 2500 per quintal. The state govenrment has also formally submitted its demand before the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices, Maharathy said.

The minister said when the state government had been demanding Rs 2500 per quintal of paddy, the Centre increased the price by only Rs 50 and made it Rs 1470 as the MSP on paddy.

Also Read: House adjourned as Opp creates ruckus demanding hike in paddy MSP

Maharathy also called upon the BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo to fix a date with the Prime Minister to discuss the farmers issue including the MSP on paddy.

“I am ready to accompany the BJP members to Delhi and hold disussion with the Centre,” the minister said adding that the opposition should not blame the BJD government at least on the MSP issue.

However, the minister’s statement could not satisfy the opposition members who insisted on passing a resolution in the House demanding increase in the MSP on paddy. They again rushed to the well of the House and tried to disrupt the proceeding seeking a ruling from the Speaker for passing of a resolution.

The opposition members said that the farmers suicide incidents could be controlled to a big extent if they get adequate price for their paddy.

Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati attempted to climb on the Speaker’s podium. “We do not understand why the BJD government is reluctant to bring a resolution on MSP. The government has been maintaining a double standard,” Bahinipati said.

BJD member DS Mishra alleged that the opposition parties have been shedding crocodile tears over the farmers issue. They should allow the House to function so that important public matters could be discussed.