Maharathy faces farmers’ ire in Jagatsinghpur

Jagatsinghpur: Close on the heels of ministers facing protest in various parts of the State during their rural visit recently, Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy on Saturday again faced locals’ ire at Biridi here in the backdrop of peasants’ suicide.

Farmers under the banner of Navanirman Krishak Sanghathan (NKS) waylaid Maharathy’s vehicle at Biridi while he was returning to Bhubaneswar after attending a Children’s Day programme. A face-off erupted between security forces and protesters for a while. Police detained five protesters and dispersed the mob. Sources said one farmer among the protesters sustained injuries while police were trying to clear the road.

On the other hand, the farmers’ outfit threatened to intensify the protest against the Agriculture minister. “The movement against the government will be intensified further. As police are using ‘lathis’ to disperse, we would also come with sticks henceforth”, a protester said.

This is the third such incidents in a fortnight for Maharathy who faced protest from the locals. Earlier, the Pipili legislator’s tour to Balangir and Nuapada was opposed by the activists of opposition parties. Similarly, BJP supporters had shown black flags recently to Industry minister Debi Prasad Mishra and Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das during their visit to rural areas of Boudh district.

Sports and Youth Affairs minister Sudam Marandi was also opposed by the mob in a similar fashion during his visit to Ganjam districts.