Opposition alleges irregularities in paddy procurement

Bhubaneswar: The Opposition put the State government on the backfoot on the second day of the winter session when it revealed that crores of rupees were embezzled in paddy sale as middlemen were involved in the paddy procurement.

Both Congress and BJP members alleged the State government of exploiting farmers by delaying disbursal of bonus and input subsidy. They also raised the sharecroppers’ issues in the House.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra stated that rampant corruption has occurred in the paddy purchase by the government.

As per the charges, instead of farmers, middlemen carried paddy sacks to rice mills in two wheelers and vehicles, some of which did not have registration numbers.

“Paddy has been carried to millers from societies in two-wheelers and other vehicles having no registration number. This clearly exposes misappropriation of crores of rupees and the corruption the state government is involved in,” said Mishra.

For instance, he claimed that a motorcycle with registration number OR17G8519 was seen carrying 22 tonnes paddy to Bishnu Rice Mill from Sarasa Cooperative Society on May 30. Similarly, 23 tonnes of paddy were carried on another motorcycle having registration number OR15L3598.

Mishra even demanded that the Chief Minister should stage an agitation in New Delhi if he thinks he is so concerned for the farmers and wants a hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy.

Meanwhile, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said, “This government is concerned about millers only. During the reign of this government, farmers are not getting their due price, prestige and pension. Living in worse condition, they are forced to commit suicide.”

On the other hand, the ruling-BJD claimed in the House that the Opposition is trying to politicise the farmers’ issues.

“We have not done anything to hurt the interests of farmers,” said Pradeep Maharathy, Agriculture Minister.

Later in the day, the Congress created a ruckus by expressing dissatisfaction over the Maharathy’s reply during an adjournment motion discussion.