Vikash Sharma

Hectic parleys are currently on among various political parties who are not leaving any stone unturned to express solidarity with the farmers ahead of the crucial Padampur byelection . The farmers of the area are now on a dharna over non-payment of crop insurance.

Major political parties very well know that the farmers hold key to the Padampur bypoll as the 90 per cent of the voters here are farmers. The farmers too are trying to cash in on the opportunity and are trying their level best to get their demands fulfilled.

There seems to a competition among the major politicals to ensure that they win the confidence of the farmers. After Centre’s direction to States to claim farmer insurance money as soon as possible on Tuesday, the State government wasted no time and announced input subsidy of Rs 200 Cr for the farmers.

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“Ealier leaders used to come and go away by waiving their hands during campaigning. But now the candidates are coming and touching feet of farmers and going to campaigning. Bargarh district farmers will be whistle bowlers and they will play a crucial role in deciding the fate of political parties,” said a farmer leader.

Despite this, the leaders of farmers’ organisation have clearly stated that they will continue with their stir until crop insurance claims and drought input subsidy is credited into their bank accounts. Earlier, BJP candidate and former legislator Pradip Purohit had not file nomination as a move to express solidarity with the protesting farmers.

Yesterday, BJD candidate Barsha Singh Bariha went to the agitation site and urged the farmers to call off their stir.

“Now input subsidy has been given and Biju Krushak Kalyan has been implemented. People very well know that only BJD can resolve the issues of the farmers,” said BJD vice-president, Debi Prasad Mishra.

Meanwhile, the BJP today launched an indefinite 'satyagraha' in Bhubaneswar to highlight farmers' issues.

“BJD sent its candidate for filling nominations while its leaders went to hold talks with the farmers. Farmers vote will be decisive and BJP is hopeful of gaining their trust,” said BJP MLA, Nauri Nayak.

Amidst the ongoing mudsling between the BJD and BJP, Congress is also trying to take advantage of the situation.

“No matter how much drama does BJP or BJD do in Padampur, they cannot stand with the farmers. Around 95 per cent farmers have faced a lot of hardship and our party has stood with them,” said Nihar Mahanand, Bargarh district Congress president.