Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 29:

In an apparent show of strength, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today hit the streets against alleged Centre’s apathy towards farmers and Bargarh stone pelting incident respectively.

raj bhawan protest

The ruling party members, including ministers and senior leaders, staged a demonstration in front of the Raj Bhawan here against Centre’s negligence towards farmers.

“The farmers of the state are being neglected as the Union government is not giving its due minimum support price (MSP) of its produce. At least 65 percent population of the state comprises of farming community. We mainly produce paddy and we have put forth our demands before the Centre several times. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing a farmers’ rally in Bargarh, BJD had staged a demonstration in front of Raj Bhawan. There is no connection with today’s demonstration with the recent Bargarh incident.The state government has taken the incident seriously and action has been initiated,” BJD spokesperson Sashibhusan Behera said.

The BJD members submitted a memorandum to Governor SC Jamir addressing President Pranab Mukherjee putting forward their demands. The increase in minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to Rs 2500 per quintal was among the prime demands of the party.

State Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said: “Despite repeated demands, the Centre has increased the MSP of paddy by Rs 60. We are protesting against the government’s indifference.”

On the other hand, the Opposition BJP launched a statewide protest today against the Naveen Patnaik government in protest against the attack on the cavalcade of Union Minister Santosh Gangwar by alleged BJD supporters while he was on his way to attend Vikas Utsav in Bargarh last week.

“The ruling party has panicked and jittery. It is an attempt to divert the attention of people from issues like Oscar chit fund issue, Dr Motilal Gouda issue and the involvement of its leaders in the chit fund scam,” BJP state vice president Sameer Mohanty said.

The saffron party had termed the Bargarh incident as ‘pre-planned’ adding that the ruling party is nervous over the rise of BJP.

It may be recalled that Gangwar along with Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and former Jharkhand Chief Minister was in Bargarh district last week to participate in Vikas Utsav programme to commemorate the second anniversary of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

While the party held protests across all blocks today, it has planned an agitation in the capital city on July 4.