Bhubaneswar: After failing to get an appointment from Prime Minister Narendra Modi despite repeated attempts to discuss hike of minimum support price (MSP) for paddy, the state Assembly Thursday adopted a resolution to meet President of India Ram Nath Kovind on the issue.
On the beginning of the third day of winter session, the house was distributed by the BJP MLAs over crop loss that led to adjournment of the House for an hour. After that, normalcy returned to the House and the members participated in a debate on the motion on MSP.
While ruling BJD and Congress members have supported the resolution moved by government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy, the BJP said it will not be a part of the decision. Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat convened the business advisory committee that decided to take up a discussion on the MSP issue Thursday and 15 members participated in the discussion.
The Congress and BJD members slammed the Centre and Modi for not giving time to a house committee to discuss the MSP issue even after repeated requests. The BJP defended the Centre and asked why the panel is not meeting the Union agriculture minister as advised by the PMO.
“We have written thrice to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), seeking an appointment to apprise him of the MSP issue. It is unfortunate that the PM did not give time to an Assembly Committee to discuss such a crucial issue. The PMO did not even send an acknowledgement,” said Satpathy.
Participating in the debate, leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra lashed out at both the Centre and state government over farmers’ issues.
“Denial of permission to the House committee is disgraceful to the House and people of the state. The PMO’s attitude needs to be condemned. It also exposed the step-motherly attitude of the NDA government towards the state,” Narasingha said.
Slamming the ruling BJD for disrupting assembly proceedings instead of debating the issue, Mishra said “If we sit idle and fail to protect the interest of the farmers, people will say they have elected a bunch of eunuchs.”
The Congress leader also demanded that the House should resolve to seek appointment of the President to discuss the MSP issue and disapprove the PM’s attitude.
Agriculture minister Damodar Rout too slammed the PM, saying Modi is acting as the Prime Minister of BJP, not the people of this country.
BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo said the NDA government hiked the MSP by Rs 80 while there were annual hike of Rs 20-30 during the UPA regime.
On denial of permission to the House committee, Singhdeo said he is not aware why the Prime Minister has not given appointment. Let the House committee seek appointment of the Prime Minister again to discuss the MSP issue, he said.
The BJP leader made it clear that his party would not be part of the house committee that has decided to meet the President of India over MSP issue.
“After the issue relating to fixation of MSP was discussed in the House the House resolved to disapproved the way the letter of Speaker addressed to the Prime Minister was treated,” the government chief whip said.
March 25 this year, the House had unanimously adopted a resolution recommending the state government to demand the Centre for increasing the MSP of paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal instead of Rs 1,550.