BHUBANESWAR: Criticising the BJP and the ruling-BJD of being insensitive to the interest of farmers in Odisha, the State unit of Congress alleged that both the Centre and the State Government have betrayed them by not keeping any promise. The members of Congress on Thursday took out a rally and sat on mass dharna at Lower PMG Square here seeking fulfilment of farmers’ demands.
Alleging that the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre has not fulfilled a single promise made to the farmers during the last four and a half years, president of OPCC Niranjan Patnaik said the announcement to increase minimum support price (MSP) of paddy by one and a half times as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee report was made keeping elections in view. He also criticised both the Centre and the State Government for ignoring the demand of waiver of loans of farmers.
“The condition of farmers in Odisha is miserable and both the governments have failed. Since long, farmers have been demanding hike in MSP and farm loan waiver. If the MSP is increased as promised by the Prime Minister then it should be `3,516 per quintal,” leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Narasingh Mishra said.
Congress also demanded monthly pension of `5000 for farmers of over 60 years, he said, adding that the party will continue its protests if the demands are not fulfilled. Hike in MSP of paddy, bonus and pension to farmers, disbursement of insurance money and support for rabi crop were amongst the major demands that were pressed by the Congress during the rally.