Eye on bypoll, BJD, BJP in Odisha trade barbs over farmers' issues

NewsDrum Desk
22 Nov 2022

Bhubaneswar, Nov 22 (PTI) Ahead of the December 5 by-poll to Odisha’s Padampur assembly seat, the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP engaged in a verbal duel on Tuesday as both the parties sought to woo the farmers, who make up for a sizeable chunk of the constituency's population.

Launching a tirade against the Naveen Patnaik government over "delay in release of crop insurance and input subsidy" to the drought-hit farmers, Union minister and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan claimed that the ruling dispensation had been "misleading people with lies".

"People have given you (BJD) 22 years. During this period, you could not deliver on your promises as a result of which the residents of the state still continue to struggle for basic facilities,” Pradhan said.

Talking to reporters here, the Union minister also claimed that “youths of Padampur in Bargarh district are forced to migrate to other places to earn their livelihood as they are unable to get employment in Odisha because of the state government's inefficiency".

He urged the government to release all information about the input subsidy paid to the farmers.

"Give me the name of one farmer who has so far received the input subsidy. The government has misled the farmers of Padampur to get votes, but people have now seen through their lies," he said.

Shortly after, the BJD held a press conference and said that the saffron party "cheated" the farmers by not keeping its promise to increase minimum support price of paddy by 1.5 times.

"In 2014 election manifesto, the BJP vowed to increase MSP by 1.5 times. The party also claimed that they would double the income of the farmers. None of that was done," BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra alleged.

He also said that the BJP-led Centre had tried to implement three "anti-farmer" laws but had to withdraw them in the face of massive protests "A resolution was unanimously passed in Odisha Assembly in 2017 to seek Rs 2,930 for every quintal of paddy, with BJP MLAs too supporting it. But the anti-farmer Centre did not do anything about it," he said, adding that cultivators are not provided fertilisers on time by the Union government.

Patra also claimed that the state government failed to release Rs 200 crore as input subsidy in the state as the "they (BJP) called up the Election Commission quietly to stop that from happening under the ruse of Model Code of Conduct, in place for the back-to-back by-polls".

Bypoll to Dhamnagar was held earlier this month. PTI AAM RMS RMS

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