Odisha Bandh HIGHLIGHTS: The 12-hour bandh called by farmers’ outfit Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) in Odisha affected normal life of people across the state on Thursday. The outfit had called for the shutdown seeking a higher minimum support price (MSP) of paddy and other produce and pension for the farmers among other demands.
Though the strike —backed by both the Congress and the BJP— remained more or less peaceful, the cops picked up about 200 protesters from different parts of the state, including 70 from the state capital Bhubaneswar. The police, however, claimed normal life in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack remained unaffected. Government offices continued to function with adequate attendance, but educational institutions, major shops and business establishments remained closed and public transport vehicles were off the roads.
Even as the farmers staged protests, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik addressed a function, marking the distribution of financial assistance under the KALIA scheme for the farming community, in Bargarh town of West Odisha. “Though some people are observing bandh today, no one can stop the KALIA scheme,” PTI quoted him as saying. Despite the state’s two main opposition parties, the Congress and the BJP supporting the strike, their workers and leaders were not seen among the agitators.
Farmers' outfit Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan calls for a 12-hour bandh in the state receiving support from both the Congress and BJP. Follow Odisha Bandh HIGHLIGHTS:
No Congress, BJP leaders among agitators
Despite the state’s two main opposition parties, the Congress and the BJP supporting the strike, their workers and leaders were not seen among the agitators, reported PTI.
Normal life in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack remained unaffected: Police
Government offices continued to function with adequate attendance, but educational institutions, major shops and business establishments remained closed and public transport vehicles were off the roads. "We have made elaborate security arrangements to maintain law and order in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack," Commissioner of Police Satyajit Mohanty told reporters. About 30 platoons of armed police have been deployed in Bhubaneswar and 15 in Cuttack, he added. Mohanty, however, claimed normal life in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack remained unaffected. Government offices continued to function with adequate attendance, but educational institutions, major shops and business establishments remained closed and public transport vehicles were off the roads. (PTI)
Police picks up about 200 protestors from different parts of state
Though the strike -- backed by both the Congress and the BJP -- continued peacefully, the police picked up about 200 protestors from different parts of the state, including 70 from Bhubaneswar. There was heavy deployment in different places to maintain law and order, a police official said.
Farmers' ire a trailer to final ouster of the BJD: Niranjan Patnaik
The farmers' ire is just a trailer to the final ouster of the BJD, said Niranjan Patnaik.
Simple words as price, pension & prestige for farmers are inaudible to BJD govt. Guarding the pockets of the select few, CM @Naveen_Odisha has forgotten his duties. The farmers' ire is just a trailer to the grand finale-Ouster of the BJD. #FarmersVsNaveenPatnaik— Niranjan Patnaik (@NPatnaikOdisha) February 21, 2019
Farmers of Odisha today need guarantee of Congress: Niranjan Patnaik
Niranjan Patnaik, president of Odisha Pradesh Congress, said the farmers of Odisha today need the guarantee of Congress and not the hoodwinking of BJD.
Odisha Congress & I support the farmers of Odisha who have come on roads today, raising voice against the anti-farmers policies of CM @Naveen_Odisha. The farmers of our state today need the Guarantee of Congress and not the hoodwinking of BJD— Niranjan Patnaik (@NPatnaikOdisha) February 21, 2019
Mixed response to bandh call in Bhubaneswar
The 12-hour bandh by farmers' outfit in Odisha has evoked mixed response in Bhubaneswar. Major commercial establishments have remained shut, while small vendors continue their business as usual. Traffic movement in most parts of the city has been unaffected.
Matriculation question papers dispatched without hinderance by bandh: State mass education dept secretary
The bandh called by farmers did not have any impact on the dispatch of matriculation question papers. Even district collectors and SPs have been directed to take necessary steps in this regard: Mass Education department Secretary Pradipta Mohapatra was quoted by local news channels.
AIKS leads farmers' march from Nashik to Mumbai in Maharashtra
Meanwhile, the CPI(M)-backed All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) is leading a march from Nashik to Mumbai claiming betrayal by the BJP governments in the Centre and state. This march is expected to take over nine days to complete. This is the second time that the farmers will march in protest to get their demands fulfiled. (PTI)
Odisha government introduced the KALIA scheme in 2019 to help distraught farmers
The Odisha government launched the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme in January 2019 to provide financial help to farmers. The BJD government has earmarked Rs 10,180 cr for the scheme for three years. The scheme will provide financial, livelihood, cultivation support along with insurance support to small, marginal and the landless farmers.
CM Naveen Patnaik's office tweets that state schemes covers all farmers unlike Central projects
A tweet by CM Naveen Patnaik's office said that Patnaik had raised the neglect of landless farmers, sharecroppers and agricultural labourers in central schemes, unlike in Odisha’s #KALIA which covers all farmers. The CM said 16 lakh farmers benefited from Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme and 10 lakh more will be covered soon.
Odisha Congress tweets in support of bandh call by NNKS
CPI(M) too supports bandh, calls BJD govt 'anti-farmer'
Meanwhile, the CPI (M) supported the bandh call and termed the state’s BJD government as “anti-farmer.” The police have recovered banners at Baliguda in Kandhamal district where the party had appealed to the people to support the bandh.
Opposition parties do not have any other issue to raise: Odisha finance minister
Odisha’s Finance minister S B Behera, who also heads a ministerial panel to deal with agitating farmers, said: “The opposition parties don't have any other issue to raise. Odisha government is trying to fulfil the demands of the farmers and the bandh call given by NNKS will cause inconvenience for the students appearing in the matriculation exam.” (PTI)
Odisha govt appeals to call off bandh due to examinations, NNKS rejects plea
The state government in an appeal to the agitating farmers' body had requested it to refrain from the bandh in view of the annual high school certification examination. As question and answer sheets will be transported to different places on February 21, the bandh may affect the examination process, the government said requesting the NNKS to refrain from its bandh in the interest of six lakh students who will appear in the examination.
NNKS convenor Akshya Kumar said that the outfit has rejected the state government’s appeal. He added that they are sensitive towards the examination and therefore vehicles carrying examination-related materials will not be detained. Kumar said, “As such our bandh will be observed during the day time and they can transport the examination materials after 6 pm.” (PTI)
'Forced' to call for bandh after state govt ignored our demands: NNKS convernor Akshya Kumar
The Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) said it was “forced” to call for Odisha bandh after the state government ignored their “genuine” demands like price, pension and prestige for farmers. They have been demanding proper minimum support price (MSP) on paddy and other agricultural produces. “We have given a 12-hour bandh call on Thursday. The government’s plea is aimed to foil our agitation. The NNKS is sensitive towards the examination and therefore vehicles carrying examination-related materials will not be detained,” NNKS convenor Akshya Kumar told PTI.