Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, May 8:
Political parties in Odisha are sparring over Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh’s scheduled visit to participate in Akshaya Tritiya celebration, which marks the beginning of the farming season, on Monday.
The ruling Biju Janata Dal and Opposition Congress have criticised the BJP for inviting a Union Minister.
“The Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh is not a farmer. Their intention is to do vote bank politics. It’s Okay for Dharmendra Pradhan to observe Akshaya Tritiya as his previous generations were into farming. If he does politics in it, then it would be against our culture,” senior BJD leader Damodar Rout said.
On the other hand, BJP exuded that the Minister’s visit would benefit the farmers of the state.
“For the first time, a Union Agriculture minister is participating in a farmer’s programme. We are hopeful that the farming community of Odisha will be benefitted in the future,” BJP leader Sameer Mohanty said.
The state unit Congress too is observing the Akshaya Tritiya celebration. The party has organised a programme at Balakati, on the outskirts of the capital city. The Grand Old Party, however, criticised the Union Agriculture Minister’s visit to the state.
“On several occasions, politics is done over farmers’ issues. Those who are exploiting the farmers the most are expressing empathy for them. I hope the parties would refrain from this farce and take steps for development of farmers and farming,” veteran Congress leader Narasingha Mishra retorted.
Notably, Singh will participate in official as well as party programmes in Cuttack tomorrow.
The Union minister will run the ceremonial plough in the fields at a programme organised by state unit Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Kandarpur here. The minister is scheduled to meet farmers and discuss their problems with them.
Petroleum and Natural Gas (PNG) Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and state BJP president Basant Panda will accompany Singh to the function.
Later in the evening, Singh and Pradhan will participate in a programme organised by Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Bidyadharpur here. The premier research institute observes Akshaya Tritiya celebration and organises farmers’ mela every year.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will also observe Akshaya Tritiya by ploughing fields and sowing seeds at Laxminarayanpur in Puri district.