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Opp, ruling party members bat for farmers in House


OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Dec 4:

The state Assembly today witnessed ruckus and disruption over the farmers’ issue as both the opposition and ruling party members expressed concern over the plight of the farmers.
Mandi for paddy
During a debate on an adjournment motion on the issue, opposition members tore into the state government for not opening Mandis for procurement of paddy resulting in distress sale, the Congress members moved an adjournment motion on the issue.

“The state government is yet to fix a target to procure paddy from farmers. It has not conveyed the target set for the districts either. While farmers are selling their paddy in distress, the callous government has not even bothered to open Mandis in six districts,” said Congress MLA Anup Sai.

However, Food and Consumer Welfare Minister Pratap Keshari Dev termed the opposition allegation as baseless. “The allegations are baseless. The government is concerned about the interests of farmers and is taking whatever steps are required,” said the Minister replying to the allegations of the opposition.

Meanwhile, ruling party members raised the issue of poor supply of seeds in the Rabi season to farmers. They blamed Odisha State Seed Corporation Ltd (OSSC) for not distributing required seeds in time to the farmers.

Raising the issue in the Assembly, BJD MLA Pradip Maharathi said the errant corporation is not paying heed to any authority, including the Minister, secretary and director.

Former Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadai said while the corporation is formed to distribute seeds at subsidized rates, it has failed to perform the taks.

However, Agriculture Minister Devi Prasad Mishra said the principal secretary and the agriculture department are constantly monitoring the seeds distribution and taking appropriate steps.