BJD calls for fresh agitation over paddy MSP

Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD on Thursday decided to hit the streets in 12 districts in the State from January 8 and 17 protesting the Centre's refusal to hike the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy.

Last week, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Sekhawat said there is no proposal for the time being to revise the MSP on paddy.

According to the Centre, a farmer makes a profit of Rs 433 with the MSP at Rs 1,550 as the production cost comes to around Rs 1,117 per quintal.

BJD general secretary and MLA Sanjany Das Burma said that agitations will be held in 12 districts-Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada, Sambalpur and Sonepur- in a phased manner between January 8 and 17.

'Demonstration will be held in front of the block offices in the 12 districts, where paddy is being cultivated massively, in a phased manner from January 8 and 17. We will submit memorandum to the President through the concerned district Collectors,' said Das Burma at a news conference at the State party office here.

On March 25, a unanimous resolution was passed in the Assembly to demand before the Prime Minister to revise the MSP of paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal and an all-party House Committee under the chairmanship of Speaker to discuss the issue with the PM.

But, there was no response to the request seeking an appointment with the PM so far.

In November last year, the regional party also staged a dharna over the issue in front of the Raj Bhavan here and submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind through the Governor.

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