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Farmer issues to dominate Odisha Assly winter session


Bhubaneswar:  Issues concerning the farmer and farming are likely to dominate winter session of the Odisha Assembly beginning Tuesday.

While Opposition plans to target the government on issues like farmer suicides, crop losses on account of brown plant hopper (BPH) attack, drought and unseasonal rains, ruling party –BJD is likely to raise Centre’s refusal to hike minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, Mahanadi and Polavaram issues to counter the Opposition.

The session which begins on Tuesday and is scheduled to end on December 30 is likely to be stormy from day one.

The Congress which is the main opposition party in the Assembly has planned to target both State government and the Centre during the session.

The party has planned to raise issues of farmer suicides, crop losses due to pest attack, drought and unseasonal rains and paddy MSP. That apart, unemployment, migrant labour problem, Kunduli gang rape and law and order situation will be also raised by the party.

“In several areas crop losses have been reported. Both State and Central governments have stood mute spectators. Farmers are committing suicide. Despite unanimous resolution on MSP, we are yet to hear from the PMO. If we don’t get any response from the PMO by tomorrow, MSP will be the main issue,” said Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra.

The BJP too plans to corner the government over farmer issues. The saffron party plans to strongly attack the government on issues of farmer suicides and its role in the assessment of crop losses.

“Issues of drought, BPH attack, farmer and farming losses, inefficient handling of these by the government and its failure will be raised by BJP,” said BJP State unit president Basant Panda.

On the other hand, ruling BJD plans to use the paddy MSP issue as the main issue for counter-attack. Prime Minister not giving appointment to House Committee for a meeting over the demand for hiking paddy MSP, Centre’s dilly-dallying over the constitution of tribunal on Mahanadi dispute, Polavaram and fall in Central aid will be used by the ruling party for counter-attack.

“We are ready to discuss any issue that will be raised by the Opposition. We will give special attention to MSP, Mahanadi and Polavaram issues in particular,” said Assembly Deputy Chief Whip and BJD leader Rohit Pujari.