BJD to launch week-long protest over paltry hike of MSP on paddy



Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Saturday said it will launch, from July 10, a week-long state-wide protest over the central government's "paltry" hike in minimum support price (MSP) of paddy.

"BJD will stage demonstration at all the 314 blocks in the state from July 10 to July 18 to protest the Narendra Modi government's recent decision to hike the MSP for paddy by a mere Rs 80 per quintal," said BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra.

Criticising the BJP for not fulfilling this election promise, he said the hike of Rs 80 will further push the farmers into distress.

"As per its election manifesto, the BJP should increase the MSP of paddy to one and a half time of the production cost. However, the Narendra Modi government has betrayed the people of the country in general and farmers in particular after coming into the power," added Mishra.

The party also reiterated its demands to raise the MSP for paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal.

The Odisha Assembly, in its budget session, had passed a unanimous resolution to this purpose.

"A House Committee was formed to submit and discuss the said resolution with the Prime Minister. But to theri dismay, Modi didn't give any time to meet them," Mishra said.

On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party state unit blamed the BJD for doing nothing for the farmers.

"BJD is in power for 17 years. But it failed to improve irrigation, electricity and other issues which further resulted in low production and farmers committing suicide. If it is concerned about the plight of farmers, why is it not waiving off loans for the farmer like the BJP-ruled states?" asked party spokesperson Golak Mohapatra. -IANS