The BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday attended a sit-in of his party here, demanding increase in minimum support price for paddy and slamming the Modi government for not keeping its promises.
He charged that despite repeated requests to the Centre to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to 2,930 per quintal, they were ignored.
“The BJP came to power with assurance of increasing the minimum support price of food grain as per the Swaminathan formula. I have gone to the Centre many times with this demand, but it has been ignored. It was promised by the BJP in 2014, but they have forgotten their promise after coming to power,” he said.
Patanaik said his government has announced a progressive agricultural programme called ‘KALIA’ that will cost Rs 10,000 crore over three years, further irrigation of 10 lakh hectares of farmland is also nearing completion.
“We make the promises and keep them,” he asserted.
Patnaik is scheduled to meet the President of India to seek his immediate intervention on the issue of MSP for paddy.
The sit-in was attended by the Biju Janta Dal (BJD) MPs, MLAs and other leaders and workers from the state at Talkatora Stadium here.
The Odisha state assembly in a unanimous resolution has requested the Union government to fix the MSP of paddy at Rs 2,930 per quintal.
The Odisha chief minister said the demand to increase paddy MSP was raised by party MPs and MLAs at various platforms but it has been ignored.
Speaking on the occasion, BJD leaders slammed the Modi government saying it only offered “jumlas” to people instead of taking concrete steps for their welfare.
They said the MSP of paddy fixed by the central government at Rs 1,750 per quintal for the current Kharif marketing season was “unacceptable” to the farmers of Odisha.
The price has been fixed without giving due consideration to the request from the Odisha government as it was not commensurate with the rising cost of inputs like seeds, fertilizers, manure, micro-nutrients, irrigation charges and hiring cost for farm machines, they said.
Odisha is an agricultural state and paddy is the major crop of the state which is cultivated over an area of 40 lakh hectares in a year.