Bhubaneswar: In his latest bid to counter BJP which alleged paddy being sold by farmers at Rs 1000-1200 per quintal, Odisha Food Minister Suryanarayan Patro today said he would quit active politics if it is proved.
“The farmers are selling paddy at Rs 1750 in mandis opened across the State. They are paid not a single penny less than the fixed rate. If farmers selling paddy less than the real price, I would quit politics”, Patro claimed.
While rubbishing BJP’s allegation, the minister said that Opposition are making allegation without any fact and figure. “The paddy procurement in the State has increased during this kharif season. As many as 21.61 lakh metric tonne paddy has been procured this year, which is 18% higher than the paddy procured last year,” he added.
Similarly, as many as 2.22 lakh more farmers have registered this year in comparison to previous year when only 11.20 lakh had enrolled. This apart, more number of mandis have been opened this time, which stands at 3013 against the last year’s 2,929.
The BJP, on the other hand, termed the minister’s claim absurd. “This is base-less and absurd argument. We have all the proofs of farmers selling paddy at cheap price. At this time, such remarks of a minister is like robbing salt into farmers’ wounds”, BJP state vice president Sameer Das said.