Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 14:
Even after assurances from Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal today held agitations across all 32 of its organisational districts demanding more rice from the Center under NFSA quota.
The rallies, organised by farmers’ body of the party and led by local MLAs and district unit leaders, approached the district collectors in each district and submitted memorandums to the President of India through the collectors.
The party staged a demonstration in front of Khurda ADM office led by its farmers’ unit convenor Sushant Singh. Bhubaneswar mayor Anant Narayan Jena was among other leaders present in the demonstration.
“The central governments have always neglected Odisha. As per the survey conducted before implementation NFSA act, we need 85 percent rice and 15 percent wheat. The act also mandates that the consumers can choose their food. The Central Government, however, is trying to force the hands of the State Government by providing more wheat in place of rice. We are holding the demonstrations to take that message to the people and fight for their rights,” said BJD MLA and Spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera.
“The Union Government did not even give half of what we demanded as drought relief. So, there is no point going by spoken word. We would continue to reach out to masses until the Center releases the necessary amounts of rice or at least gives us a written assurance,” said BJD MLA and Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare (FS&CW) Minister Sanjay Das Burma.