Cuttack: “In an agrarian district like Cuttack, my objective is to uplift the farmers and work to address the issues plaguing the agriculture sector,” said Biju Krushak Janata Dal (BKJD) Cuttack president Prashant Behera.
The 42-year-old Behera is from Tangi-Choudwar’s Shankarpur and has been in politics since 2002. He was elected from Zone No. 10 in the Zilla Parishad elections. In 2007, he got elected in the panchayat elections from Shankarpur and worked as president of the Tangi-Choudwar panchayat samiti till 2012. In 2012, he was reelected from Zone No.10 in the Zilla Parishad elections and thus he became the president of Cuttack Zilla Parishad. In 2014, Behera contested from the Salepur constituency in the state Assembly elections in Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) ticket however, could not clinch a victory.
In an interview with our correspondent, Behera speaks his heart out. Excerpts:
What is the prime cause for distress among the farmers in the district?
The minimum support price (MSP) for paddy is the burning issue. I will work to ensure that the farmers get Rs 2,950 per quintal as the MSP.
Do you have any practical knowledge about agriculture?
My father owns 10 acres of agricultural land. That apart we have 20 acres land dedicated for pisciculture and also have a dairy farm. Surely, I do have first-hand knowledge.
In the upcoming polls do you think that agriculture would be a prime issue?
It might not be the prime issue but certainly it would be decisive one.
Only four months are left for the polls to start. Do you think that after being appointed as the district president of BKJD your party will relieve you from some other duties?
I don’t have any such qualms. Our party president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has kept faith in me and so I do believe this new position will further help me in outdoing myself.