Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly was adjourned multiple times on Monday, as the opposition BJP and the Congress created a ruckus in the House over alleged delay in procurement of paddy by various government-run ‘mandi’ (markets) in the state.
As soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour, the BJP members rushed to the well of the House, seeking to know why Speaker S N Patro rejected their adjournment notice for discussion on “irregularities” in paddy procurement.
Shortly after, the saffron party legislators were joined by the Congress members in their agitation. Despite requests when the opposition members refused to return to their seats, Patro adjourned the proceedings multiple times, first during the pre-lunch session, and finally from 3 pm to 5 pm, post lunch.
As the protesting MLAs refused to budge, the speaker then convened an all-party meeting to break the stalemate.
“The farmers are unable to sell paddy due to the wrong token policy of the BJD government. We had given an adjournment notice to the speaker for a discussion over this matter. But he summarily rejected our demand,” BJP Chief Whip Mohan Majhi told reporters outside the House.
Congress member Taraprasad Bahinipati said “thousands of quintals of paddy are lying in mandis” and farmers are waiting to sell their produce. “Although district collectors have ordered officials concerned to register farmers for procurement of paddy, no step has been taken in this direction,” Bahinipati claimed.
He also said that famers were “distressed”, but nothing was being done to address their woes.
“The food supplies and consumer welfare minister has made a statement in the Assembly on the issue, but officials at the ground level have not taken any measure to resolve the grievances of farmers,” the Congress leader added.
Countering the allegations, senior BJD member Amar Satpathy said the state government was aware about the matter and was doing its best to help the farmers.