New Delhi: The BJD today reiterated its demand for a hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy at its rally titled ‘Krushak Adhikar Samabesh’ at Talkatora stadium here while Opposition BJP and Congress dubbed the rally as a ‘picnic party’.
The party which demanded implementation of Swaminathan Committee’s recommendation and hike in MSP for paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal for the welfare of the farmers, also submitted memorandum to the President of India in this regard.
After the day-long demonstration, top BJD leaders-led by party president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik met the President in the evening and submitted the memorandum. Patnaik said that they had reminded the Centre of their demand for MSP hike several times, but it didn’t do that. So, the party convened a meeting at Talkatora stadium and later met the president.
“BJP in its manifesto in 2014 promised to give MSP to paddy farmers.They have done nothing. Today,we held a public meeting at Talkatora Stadium objecting this & now handed over a memorandum to the President”, Patnaik told media.
During the rally, Naveen slammed the Union Government while addressing the gathering. He said “Our fight for the hike in MSP will continue. the saffron party had promised in 2014 to raise the MSP but they have not fulfilled their commitment to the farmers”.
Coming down heavily on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government, Naveen alleged that the saffron party had promised in 2014 to raise the MSP but they have not fulfilled their commitment to the farmers.
The Chief Minister also insisted the Centre to honour its commitment to implement Swaminathan Committee’s recommendation. He also emphasised State’s KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme for the overall development of the farmers and agriculture.
On the other hand, BJP and Congress who also took to streets in the State Capital, termed the BJD’s move a picnic party at the cost of public money.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan attacked the Chief Minister for not able to open mandi in Odisha for the farmers to sell their produce and failing to provide the Rs 1750 as MSP per quintal of paddy.
“The chief Minister has to answer why the farmers are not getting Rs 1750 MSP as fixed by the Centre. The BJD has engaged itself in fund raising activities having a nexus with millers ahead of election. The CM has also forgotten his promise of Rs 100 additional bonus at Sohela rally. Now, he is organising rally in Delhi to hide his own inefficiency”, Pradhan said.
Similarly, Congress too trained its gun against the ruling party. PCC President Niranjan Patnaik tweeted “Today Naveen Patnaik and Co. are going on a picnic to Delhi which costs Rs 52 lakh. They are doing this in the name of the farmers. Had this money been given to farmers in debt, many precious lives of our ‘annadatas’ could have been saved”.
If the BJD had any concern about the farmers of Odisha, they would have waived off farm loans like the Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Congress govts.. and also announced bonus on MSP, Patnaik tweeted.