Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 22:
The 12-day hunger strike launched by Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) has entered its fifth day today.
The farmer strike demanding pension for the farmers and government recognition of the farmer suicide cases entering its fourth day on Monday received support from various fronts including Congress and BJP leaders.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress party has said the demands of the sangathan are genuine. The state government is oblivious about the number of farmers that have died in Odisha.
Similarly, former PCC President Niranjan Patnaik said that without agricultural development the state cannot progress. There is a need to make progress in all types of agriculture in Odisha. Congress MLA Chiranjiv Biswal alleged that the state government making people lazy by distributing blankets and rice.
While, Congress Chief Whip in Odisha assembly, Taraprasad Bahinipati had said that the state government has no feelings for the deaths of farmers. They are yet to agree on the reason for the farmer deaths in the state.
The editor of leading Odia daily ‘Sambad’ and advisor of Navnirman Krushak Sangathan Soumya Ranjan Patnaik addressed the huge congregation and said that the strike has reached fourth day. The dharna is an attempt to change the mindset of the government about acknowledgement of farmer deaths in the state.
Notably, NKS had been demanding implementation of a provision for 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.
Meanwhile, Odisha government remains in a denial mode, with the state Finance Minster Pradeep Amat not even making a passing reference on farmer suicides in the state during the annual budget presentation in the Assembly recently.