Bhubaneswar: Reacting on Odisha Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout's statement, Union Minister of state for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Sunday said that Centre does not need state government's permission to address farmers' issue.
'Farmers are the food providers. Farmers of 14 districts are now facing problems in Odisha. The areas which are called the rice bowl of the state are now facing a drought-like situation and pest menace. It is the duty of the Union government to address the farmers' issue and for that we do not need the permission of the state government,' said the Union Minister to reporters arriving at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) this morning and assured to solve the farmer's issue in co-operation with the state government.
Earlier on Friday, Damodar had claimed that agriculture is a state subject and the Odisha Government is well aware of its constitutional duty claiming that the state government is taking all possible steps for farmers' benefit.
However, the Central Government is not assisting the state in its efforts rather trying to run a parallel government which is dangerous for democracy and federalism, he added.
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is slated to hold discussions with the officials of Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and later to visit the pest affected Boudh and Sonepur districts today.
He will also visit five other districts to take stock of the pest affected paddy crops and other farmers' issues accompanied by a six-member central team.
Notably, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had met Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh in New Delhi on Thursday and apprised him about the pest attack in Odisha.