Bhubaneswar : Mandi Chala Abhiyan: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced the launch of the ‘Mandi Chala Abhiyan’, which is concerned about the Odisha government’s inordinate delay in opening paddy procurement centers across the state. BJP general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan target the Odisha Government on delay of to open Paddy Mandi while addressing a Press meet here today at party office.
Mandi Chala Abhiyan will start on December 22 and will continue till December 28. Also on December 21, BJP will protest outside the offices of 58 sub-collectors over irregularities in procurement of paddy, BJP leader Prithiviraj Harichandan said.
The BJP leader alleged that farmers belonging to western Odisha had to sell their produce to Chhattisgarh-based millers as the government failed to open paddy shopping centers on time. Western Odisha harvests paddy 15 days before coastal Odisha. As the government delayed in procuring paddy from farmers, the western belt witnessed rice being smuggled into Chhattisgarh. Farmers were forced to sell their paddy at Rs 1,400 MSP to millers based in Chhattisgarh, said BJP leader.
Paddy selection centers were opened 15 days ahead of schedule in Western Odisha. On the other hand, rice paddy procurement centers in the coastal areas have not yet been opened. As per the decision of the state government, shopping malls will be opened in coastal Odisha after a month. Paddy’s mandi are due to open on December 1. Meanwhile, the government has informed the cooperatives to open mills on December 30, said.
Alleging that the government is favoring the mill owners, Harichandan claimed that “Farmers work day and night throughout the year to procure rice at the right time and earn their livelihood for the year. It is the moral duty of the state government to open shopping malls for paddy fields in time. However, the government seems to have little interest in getting paddy from farmers. This exposed the nexus of the state government with the mill owners.”
Meanwhile, the BJP has demanded to stop the central token system and open grievance cells for farmers to register their queries regarding MSPs in each block. “According to the previous notification, the government should provide a bonus of Rs 100 to the farmers. The government should also extend the time frame for procurement of paddy land,” he said.
“ The State Government is playing with farmers’ economy by introducing token system for procurement of paddy,” said Prithviraj Harichandan.
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