Bhubaneswar: More than a hundred Congress workers were detained by the Commissionerate Police after they tried to move towards Naveen Niwas, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence here, in a bid to gherao it Wednesday.
Youth Congress members also took out a bike rally under the banner of ‘Yuva Adhikaar Samavesh’ during which a scuffle broke out between the police and protesters at Rajmahal Square.
As part of Bharat Bachao Jan Aandolan opposing unemployment and farmer’ issues, Youth Congress leaders and workers took out a rally from Master Canteen here. As they reached Rajmahal Square and attempted to move in the direction of Naveen Niwas, policemen resisted their movement. A mild scuffle erupted between the Youth Congress activists and the cops following which the workers were taken into preventive custody.
The Congress workers led by former minister Suresh Routray and Odisha Youth Congress president Lokanath Maharathy were blocked by the police at Rajmahal Square while the protesters were marching towards the Chief Minister’s residence.
“We want the state government to admit that a large number of farmers have committed suicide in Odisha due to crop loss and financial burden. Unless the government agrees to this and compensates the bereaved families, our agitation will continue,” Maharathy said.
Echoing the youth leader, Routray said unemployment is a matter of serious concern in the state. Both the Centre and the state government are equally responsible for the problem. “Our protest is lawful, but the police have arrested us. Our protests will go on,” he said.
Earlier, Odisha Congress leaders such as OPCC President Nairanjan Patnaik, Chiranjib Biswal, Prasad Harichandan, Indian Youth Congress president Keshav Yadav, vice president BV Srinivas along with other Congress leaders organised a meeting at Congress Bhawan where they spoke about “the Central government’s failure to resolve farmers’ issues and provide employment to youths.”
The OPCC president alleged that both the Centre and the state have failed to provide employment to the youths of Odisha. The Naveen government’s 18 years of rule had failed to live up to its promise of providing two lakh employment opportunities to the youths every year.
Congress leader Chiranjib Biswal said “it is time to bring the state government down like the last time when the Biju Patnaik government was brought down by the Congress.”
“Neither the Centre nor the state government has been able to provide jobs to the youth. While youths of Odisha are going outside to work in factories, most of the jobs in Odisha have been given to outsiders,” he said. Youth Congress president Keshav Yadav said, “This fight against the government is not an individual’s fight, but of lakhs of unemployed youths.” The BJP government had failed to bring any development. In fact, its decisions like demonetisation had pushed the country backward.
BJP leaders such as Dharmendra Pradhan work to satisfy the wealthy class rather than solving the employment problem.Talking about Amit Shah, he said they talked big about fighting corruption, but in fact his own son Jay Shah had made his business jump from just Rs 50,000 to over Rs 80 crore in a single year, thanks to huge corruption.
During the rally, the members raised slogans against the Centre and urged everyone to fight against injustice.
Revise paddy MSP: Niranjan
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik Wednesday said that the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy for 2018-19 Kharif season announced by the Centre is not remunerative and demanded to revise it. Patnaik said the central cabinet announced to hike the paddy MSP by Rs 200 per quintal after the decision was taken in this regard by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs this morning. The government, he said, had earlier announced in its budget to hike the MSP by one-and-a-half times of the production cost for Kharif crops. The MSP for paddy for 2017-18 was Rs 1,550 per quintal. The hike of Rs 200 per quintal is not sufficient and remunerative, alleged Patnaik. The state government had earlier suggested the Centre to fix the MSP of common variety paddy at Rs 2,930 per quintal, he said.