BJP promises to waive off farm loans in Odisha; Cong trains gun at govt

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of BJP onTuesday promised to waive all farm loans in the state, if the party is voted topower in 2019 elections.

“The party would waive all farm loans and provide loans to farmer with zero interest if it is voted to power in 2019 elections,” said BJP state unit president Basant Panda.

He also informed that BJP will organise ‘Mandi Chaala Abhiyan’ from today till Jan 7 protesting improper functioning of Mandis and delay in paddy procurement.

During the Abhiyan, the party workers will stage demonstrations and burn effigies of Food Supplies and Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro in front of all 4381 Mandis across the state.

Panda also announced that the party would also gherao the state secretariat on January 8 to press for their demand for farm loan waiver.

On the other hand, senior Congress leader Srikant Jena demanded the state government waive off the agriculture loans for the welfare of the farmers.

“The government waived off Rs 50,000 crore for mining mafia. Why can’t it waive off farm loans? Paddy MSP is Rs 2,500 per quintal in Chhattisgarh, but here in Odisha, farmers are forced tosell at Rs 1,500 per quintal. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should answer,“said Jena.

Reacting to the BJP’s protest, BJD MP Pratap Deb termed the Mandi Chala Abhiyan as “Vinash Kale Vipreet Buddhi”.

“Mandi Chaala Abhiyan of BJP shows their downfall is approaching. If Mandis are not functioning properly, appropriate action will be taken by the administration,” he added.

Notably, the ruling party has decided to stage a demonstration in front of Parliament in New Delhion January 8 demanding ahike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy.