Bhubaneswar: Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS), an outfit fighting for farmers’ cause, Tuesday staged a dharna in front of the Governor’s House here seeking Rs 2,930 as minimum support price (MSP) for a quintal of paddy.
The outfit also sought monthly pension of Rs 5,000 for each farmer.
Addressing the agitators, NKS all-India coordinator Akhaya Kumar criticised the state government for its failure to safeguard farmers’ interests. “Farmers voted for the BJD government several times but the latter has been reluctant to hike paddy MSP and give pensions to the peasants. The newly introduced Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme in state is nothing but eyewash,” Kumar alleged.
Kumar also criticised the ruling BJD for organising a farmers’ demonstration in New Delhi Tuesday to protest the Centre’s reluctance to hike the paddy MSP. “The regional party has failed to fight for the farmers’ cause in Parliament too,” he said.
Participating in the dharna, outfit’s adviser and journalist Rabi Das claimed that the state government has introduced some welfare measures for farmers due to frequent agitations by the NKS. “There would not be any adverse impact on state exchequer if government provides pension to each farmer,” he claimed.
NKS state coordinator Shesadeb Nanda too came down heavily on the state government over various issues plaguing the farm sector. “The BJD government in state has waived Rs 50,000 crore dues to mining mafia, but it is opposing Rs 5,000 monthly pension to farmers,” he said.