The ruling BJD on Satruday announced a week-long agitational programme demanding revision of the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy in all the 314 block headquarters from July 10. “The BJP led Central government has made a mockery of farmers’ plight by increasing the rate of MSP on paddy by only Rs 80 per quintal. The increase in the MSP on paddy speaks much about the intention of the Centre in dealing with the farmers problem. The Modi government has betrayed the farmers,” BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra told reporters.
Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had described the minimal increase in the MSP for paddy by the Centre as “disappointing”. Criticising the Prime Minister for not fulfilling the election promise on MSP on paddy, Mishra said the hike of Rs 80 will further push the farmer into distress. The BJP in its election manifesto had promised to increase the MSP of paddy to one and a half time of the production cost, Mishra pointed out.
He said the Odisha Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution to increase the Paddy MSP to Rs 2930 per quintal. An Assembly Committee headed by the Speaker was constituted to meet the PM and apprise him of the issue. However, the Prime Minister could not find time to meet the committee, he said.
The opposition BJP, on the other hand, rejected the BJD’s allegation. “The BJD though ruled the state for 17 years has failed to mitigate miseries of farmers. There has been no improvement in irrigation forcing farmers to commit suicide in Odisha,” said BJP spokesman Golak Mohapatra.
Why the BJD government is not waiving off loans for the farmer like the BJP ruled States? asked Mohapatra.