BJD agitation over paddy MSP begins

Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD today hit the streets protesting the Centre's refusal to hike the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy.

The party will stage demonstration in front of all the blocks in 12 districts-where paddy is being cultivated massively, in the State from January 8 and 17 in a phased manner.

Today, the party activists staged demonstration in front of block offices in Nabarangpur and Malkangiri district in the first phase. The agitation which started at 10 am will end on 12 noon.

The protestors will submit memorandum to the President through the concerned district Collectors.

The fresh agitation call of the ruling BJD came after Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Sekhawat said in Rajya Sabha recently that there is no proposal for the time being to revise the MSP.

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.

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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