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Farmers' Grievances Leads to Uproar in Odisha Assembly for Second Day in a Row

On Saturday, the Odisha Assembly saw a commotion for the second consecutive day as members of the opposition and treasury benches cited concerns linked to farmer's plight to target each other

Ayushi Sikarwar
odisha assembly
Odisha State Assembly (Representational Image)

On Saturday, the Odisha Assembly saw a commotion for the second consecutive day as members of the opposition and treasury benches cited concerns linked to farmer's plight to target each other.

Congress brought up a number of farmer-related issues for discussion, including "mismanagement" in the purchase of paddy, "non-payment" of input subsidies, and "inadequate" minimum support prices, but lawmakers from the main opposition BJP refused to take part, demanding that Agriculture Minister R P Swain respond to queries.

Panchayati Raj Minister PK Amat responded on behalf of the state government during the discussion.
For the unknown, Swain was consumed with campaigning for BJD candidate in the byelection for Padampur in the Bargarh district, that will take place on December 5.

The responsible minister was required to respond, thus the BJP members flocked to the House well to ask Speaker BK Arukh for his opinion on the matter. Since they were unable to receive a response from the chair, they began protesting in the House well while the discussion about the challenges faced by the farmers went on.

The fact that the Panchayati raj minister responded to the House rather than the agriculture and cooperation minister was also a point of contention for Congressman S. S. Saluja.

In light of the Padmapur by-election, the state government has given input subsidies for farmers who have beared loss due to the drought. Why did the government announce input subsidies so late? The farmers should have received it by July 31, Saluja said while addressing the Assembly.

The Congress lawmakers blamed the "plight of farmers in Odisha" on both the BJP-led central government and the state's BJD administration.

Saluja questioned, "Why the Centre was not accountable for the timely payment of crop insurance to farmers, and why was the 'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana' scheme named after the PM?"

Congress MLA further claimed of irregularities in mandis during the paddy procurement in the state. Bhupinder Singh and Rajkishore Das, members of the Treasury Bench, criticised both the BJP and the Congress while taking part in the discussion.

In his response to the House, the state's Panchayati Raj minister stated that payments to farmers are made digitally and that the state government has developed a token system to increase transparency in the paddy purchase process. He added that input subsidies have been set up based on reports from collectors.

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