Bhubaneswar, Dec 23:
On a day when the Chief Minister boasted that his government had accorded ‘top priority’ to the agriculture sector in the state, Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS), an organisation working to protect the interests of farmers in the state, on Monday decided to launch a civil disobedience movement at the Lower PMG here if the government failed to fulfil its two demands within 24 hours.
Accusing the State Government of turning a deaf ear to its two-point charter of demands, Sangathan State coordinator Akshaya Kumar whose protest fast entered the 15th day today said, “We have been appealing to the State Government to implement the provision for a Rs 2, 000 pension to every farmer’s family in order to ensure social security, besides Rs 500 as additional bonus per quintal of paddy, but in vain.”
“Starting from Agriculture Secretary to Chief Secretary and Chief Minister nobody is interested to listen to our genuine demands even after 15 days of our protest. We are now giving the government 24 hours’ time to fulfil our demands. If it fails to do so, we will launch a civil disobedience movement here,”Kumar said.
Following Cycone Phailin and the subsequent flood, the status of farmers in the calamity hit 19 districts of the State is worse than ever before, he said adding around 10 lakhs farmers are counting each day to get government benefits.
He further said the state government must earmark Rs 1560 crore towards bonus and Rs 1000 crore towards pension to help the farmers’ community of the State.
He also criticized state government for its anti-farmer policy stating that our neighbouring state Chhattisgarh had set a record in implementing Rs 300 as additional bonus per quintal of paddy for the famers.
During he just concluded Assembly session, the members of NKS were taken into custody by security personnel for causing disruption by shouting slogans from the visitor’s gallery to press their demands.
Among others, Information Commissioner Jagadananda, noted economist Natabar Khuntia, Kiran Sahu, Nagarika Samaj member and senior journalist Rabi Das and Prafulla Das also supported the demands.