BHUBANESWAR: Upping the ante against the Centre for neglect of farmers and farm sector, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday decided to stage demonstration in front of the Parliament on January 8 demanding hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy.Criticising the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre for not fulfilling its promises made during election campaign and later in Parliament, BJD vice-president Prasanna Acharya, who is also president of Biju Krushak Janata Dal (BKJD), told media persons that the Centre betrayed farmers of Odisha with the false assurance to increase paddy MSP.
Holding the Centre responsible for miseries of farmers across the country, he alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no time to discuss the issue with members of all-party House Committee of the State Assembly. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is yet to respond to the Assembly Committee’s request for appointment with the PM for a discussion over the issue, he said.
Acharya alleged that by raising the MSP on paddy by only `200 per quintal, the Centre maintained that it has implemented the recommendations of MS Swaminathan Committee. Stating that BJP has wrongly interpreted the recommendations of the committee, the BJD Rajya Sabha member said the party will request the Centre to hike MSP on paddy in accordance with the panel’s recommendations.
He said BJD has been agitating against the Centre’s injustice and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written several times to the PM and Union Agriculture Minister on the issue. However, the Centre has always ignored the issue, he said.
Alleging that the Centre is only shedding crocodile tears for farmers, Acharya referred to the ‘Krushi Karman’ award won by the State Government for the last four years. “The Krushi Karman awards given to Odisha Government by the Centre proves that the farm sector is not neglected in the State,” he said.
Acharya said BJD members will leave for New Delhi from Bhubaneswar in a special train on January 6 to participate in the demonstration. All MPs, MLAs, office-bearers of BJD frontal organisations and farmers’ representatives from districts will attend the demonstration.