The BJP on Wednesday condemned the arrest of the agitating farmer leaders and demanded their immediate release.
Justifying their agitation demanding bonus of `500 per quintal of paddy, the BJP said that the farmers of the State are in distressed condition following extensive damage to their kharif crops by the twin calamities of Phailin and floods.
The special package announced by the State Government for the farmers is nothing but a hogwash. Whatever paddy crop saved from the calamities is not meeting the fair average quality (FAQ) norms.
As a result, paddy brought to the mandis are not accepted by the Government agencies.
Finding no support from the Government, the farmers are on peaceful agitation from December 9 demanding bonus of `500 per bag over the minimum support price (MSP) announced by the Centre.
Claiming that the neighbouring Chhattisgarh Government is providing a bonus of `300 per quintal of paddy, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to accept the demand of the farmers to mitigate their miseries.
Demanding immediate release of the arrested leaders, Sharma cautioned that the BJP will take to the streets if the Government conducts legal proceedings against them.