The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday blocked the National Highways for three hours to protest against non-procurement of paddy lying stacked at different market yards across western Odisha. The party stopped vehicular movements on the highways passing through 37 Assembly constituencies under five Lok Sabha segments in these districts.
“Tokens issued by the State government for procurement of paddy have lapsed. Farmers are facing a dire situation while the government is unable to procure the paddy,” alleged Nauri Naik, BJP MLA from Rengali constituency in Sambalpur district. He said, “We had earlier protested in phases. The Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Northern) had assured us that farmers whose tokens would lapse would be listed again. However, no such list has so far been submitted to the government.”
Jai Narayan Mishra, BJP MLA from Sambalpur, said, “The policy of the government is faulty. It helps millers instead of farmers. A situation is being created to force farmers to go for distress sale. At some market yards, farmers were asked to give away five to seven kg of paddy from a single bag.”