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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jajpur, Jan 3:

Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) – a farmers’ body spearheading campaign for ‘price, prestige and pension’ – today announced to hold Krushak Adhikar Jatra across Odisha till January 30.

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“Krushak Adhikar Jatra will be held across the state till January 30 which will culminate at Jagatsinghpur for price, prestige and pension to farmers. We will intensify the stir if government does not pay heed to our demands,” state convener of NKS Akshya Kumar said.

Protesting against Naveen Patnaik government’s apathy towards farmers community in the state and use of police force to foil December 14 farmers’ conclave in Odisha capital, Krushak Adhikar Divas was observed here today under the banner of NKS.

The Krushak Adikar Divas was held at Artiakusunpur village under Odisso panchayat in Rasulpur block in the district with an intent to unite farmers in their fight against injustice to their society.

Leaders across party lines turned up at the farmers’ convention held here.

A large number of farmer leaders, social activists and many leaders from opposition parties gathered at the venue to extend their support to farmers’ community where they criticised the BJD government.

“NKS has successfully organised the congregation of Odisha farmers, who make up for 70 per cent of total population in the state. We have been able to draw the attention towards their basic problems,” said Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, advisor of the organization and editor of Sambad.

The government should change its policy taking up alternative agenda for farmers’ welfare, he added.

The large gathering here in Artiakusunpur village is a great success of farmers community and it has brought new hope among farmers to be united and fight for change, he concluded.

Describing BJD government’s rule more cruel than British Raj, Congress chief whip in Odisha Assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged that the government has no scheme for farmers. They are selling their produce below minimum support price (MSP) after not getting the right price.

Naveen Patnaik has spent majority of his time outside the state and country. As he does not belong to a farmer’s family, he has no idea about their woes, he pointed out.

“The timing of the programmes undertaken by the Navnirman Krushak Sangathan clearly indicates that they are doing it keeping in view the approaching panchayat polls,” BJD spokesperson Sameer Dash said.

The farmers’ leader Akshay Kumar broke his 23 day-long fast on this occasion in the presence of Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Tara Prasad Bahinipati, veteran BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra, former Union Minister Braja Kishore Tripathy, former Odisha minister Panchanan Kanungo, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit and many dignitaries from various walks of life.

Simultaneously, symbolic protests were held in Jagatsinghpur, Sundargarh and Balasore districts observing the Krushak Adikar Divas.