BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Congress, Left and various regional parties have thrown their weight behind the farmers’ organisations to make the Bharat Bandh on Tuesday successful, the BJD has decided to remain neutral on the issue. The party, however, said it is important to resolve all the issues of farmers and remove their apprehensions.
Clarifying the party stance, Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, the BJD has always stood for the interest of farmers. The party has always been demanding doubling of minimum support price (MSP) as suggested by the Swaminathan Committee, and will continue to do so for the benefit of the farmers.
“The BJD is hopeful that the outstanding issues can be resolved through sincere dialogue and we look forward to the talks on December 9 between the Union Government and the farmer’s groups,” he said.
Meanwhile, the State government announced closure of all government offices on Tuesday. Public transport services like Mo Bus will also remain suspended.
However, all emergency and essential services will continue during the strike.The farmers’ organisations at the national level have announced the bandh hours to be between 11 am and 3 pm, but in Odisha the shutdown will stretch from 8 am to 3 pm.
The BJD’s stance has come in for strong criticism from the Congress. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik said, “The BJD’s silence on Bharat Bandh has exposed its real face. While regional parties across the country have been supporting the farmers, it is the BJD alone in Odisha which has remained silent. The party is anti-farmer and a part of the BJP.”
Meanwhile, police have beefed up security across the State. Bhubaneswar DCP Umashankar Dash said about 15 platoons of police force will be deployed in the Capital to maintain law and order.
The farmer’s body of Odisha Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) reiterated that the nationwide shutdown will be conducted in a peaceful manner. “We have called for a peaceful Bharat Bandh between 8 am and 3 pm,” said Sangathan’s national convenor Akshay Kumar, who is camping at Singhu on the outskirts of Delhi.