Bhubaneswar, Feb 19: The Odisha Legislative Assembly, which is in Budget Session now, could not conduct normal businesses on the second day on Friday as Opposition BJP and Congress members protested against non-procurement of paddy from farmers in the Well of the House through the day.
The House was adjourned as many as seven times as Opposition members didn’t relent from raising voice and staging a protest.
“We protested against non-procurement of paddy from farmers across the State. Farmers have suffered a lot. We demanded that the Government procure paddy from all farmers without delay,” said BJP Legislature Party Deputy Leader Bishnu Sethi.
Stating that the Union Government had given Rs 13,000 crore for paddy procurement last year and has targeted to provide Rs 18,000 crore this year, Sethi wanted to know the why the State Government is not procuring paddy from farmers.
Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra said, “Paddy has not been procured from farmers yet. Thousands of quintals of paddy have piled up at Mandis. Lapsed tokens are not being renewed. We demanded the issue of farmers be discussed by suspending the Question Hour. As our demand remained unheard of, we protested and stalemate continued,” asserted Mishra.
Meanwhile, the Government claimed that paddy has been procured over and above the targeted quantum. “We have procured 54.23 lakh metric tonne of paddy against the targeted quantum of 54 lakh metric tonne,” said the Government.
Even as the House was stalled over the issue, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain has not given any clarification yet.