Paddy MSP: BJD to launch state-wide agitation from Jan 8

Bhubaneswar: A couple of days after the Central government ruled out the chances for an increase in the Paddy MSP, the ruling-BJD today decided to launch a 10-day-long demonstration across the State from January 8.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, general secretary of the party Sanjay Das Burma criticized the Centre for making mockery of plight of farmers of the State.

“By refusing to hike the MSP from the present Rs 1,550 as against our demand of Rs 2,930 per quintal, the BJP- led Central government has betrayed the farmers of Odisha. We will submit a memorandum addressed to the President of India in this regard through Governor SC Jamir and stage dharna in 12 districts across the State from January 8 to 17,” said Burma.

In each block of the 12 districts – Sambalpur, Sonepur, Boudh, Deogarh, Bargarh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabrangpur, Rayagada and Nuapada – the party members will stage dharna. “If the BJP still turns a blind eye to our demand, we will intensify the agitation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera taking shots at the Odisha BJP unit said, had the demand came from the saffron party’s state unit, the Centre would have accepted it.

“It’s a shame that the BJP is politicising an issue that concerns the farmers’ community. The union leaders are coming to Odisha and showing pain for the farmers only in their speeches but not in action,” said Behera.

Union minister of State for Agriculture, Gajendra Singh Sekhawat on Tuesday had said that the MSPs fixed by the government provides adequate returns over all-India weighted average costs of production of paddy and hence there is no need to change the formula for determining MSPs.