As many as 15000 farmers came out on streets, marching from Master Canteen to Lower PMG in Bhubaneshwar, demanding that the state budget should make necessary provisions to pay a pension of Rs. 5000 per month to farmers of the state. They also demanded allocation of Rs. 21,600 crore in the state budget.
The farmers have been brought together by the organisation, Navnirman Krishak Sangathan (NKS) and are demanding an increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy to Rs. 3000 per quintal from the present meagre sum of Rs. 1550. Farmers in Odisha have been organizing rallies, movements and demonstrations during the past five years for good prices, prestige and pension for farmers in the state.
After Mumbai, it was the turn of the Odisha Assembly to face protests by farmers as thousands of them launched a dharna in front of it. The farmers are demanding a hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to Rs 5,000 per quintal. They are also seeking a pension of Rs 5,000 per month for the state’s 36 lakh farmers.
15K farmers protested in Odisha but not highlighted. Maharashtra protest was in BJP state & backed by CPIM so highlighted. Today, Tents of protesting farmer’s set on fire in Kannur allegedly by CPI (M) workers but as Kerala not BJP state so chalta hai. Are Kerala Farmers ‘Aliens’?
15K farmers protested in Odisha but not highlighted. Maharashtra protest was in BJP state & backed by CPIM so highlighted. Today, Tents of protesting farmer's set on fire in Kannur allegedly by CPI(M) workers but as Kerala not BJP state so chalta hai. Are Kerala Farmers 'Aliens'?
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) March 14, 2018
“Demands of farmers are almost similar across the country. Not only in Maharashtra, peasants from Kutch to Arunachal and Kashmir to Kanyakumari will come out soon protesting the government’s lackadaisical attitude in solving the problems of the farming community” said Akshaya Kumar, the NKS convenor. Sangathan members have decided to continue their peaceful protest at the Lower PMG till their demands are met.
Seshadev Nanda, co-ordinator of the farmer body said, “We are fighting for 36 lakh marginal and small farmers of the state. The government has to give pension to the peasants to bail them out from the dangerous web of loan and crop loss”
Nanda also said that the state government has to give priority to agriculture sector by constructing irrigation points and canals. He added that the government needs to strengthen infrastructure and create opportunities for farmers to make agricultural activities a profitable business. Farmers also say that this struggle is a struggle for human dignity and will be fought at any cost.
Though Anand Prasad Satpathy, the government’s chief whip, said that his government is taking all measures to help the farmers of the state, the protesters have alleged that despite them being on strike for the last three days, no one from the state government has come to meet the farmers. “If they don’t listen to our valid demands, we will intensify our struggle and on March 16, we will launch a Satyagraha in front of each district head-quarter,” said Akshaya Kumar.
There is no pension for farmers at present in the state. The farmers, who came from different districts of the state under the banner of Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS), demanded that they be paid pension on attaining 60 years of age.
“The agitation will intensify and reach the grass-root level if the state government fails to fulfil our demands,” NKS convenor Akshay Kumar said. Its adviser, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, has recently joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal and has filed his nomination for the Rajya Sabha elections.
Earlier, Patnaik had led rallies in various parts of Odisha to press for farmers’ demands. In Mumbai, under pressure from the Opposition and ally Shiv Sena, the BJP-led Maharashtra government today accepted the demands of agitating farmers, including their right to till forest land, as thousands of them converged here in a sea of red. In a major victory for the farmers, who trekked 180 km from Nashik to here over six days under the blazing sun, some even barefooted, the state’s revenue minister, Chandrakant Patil, said their “all demands” were being accepted.
Close to 15,000 farmers protested in Odisha outside the State Assembly. No one cares for them because BJP isn’t in power there.
Close to 15,000 farmers protested in Odisha outside the State Assembly. No one cares for them because BJP isn't in power there. pic.twitter.com/PyhWLB7Lok
— Rahul Sharma (@Biorahul) March 14, 2018
Orissa CM has the guts to talk about a concocted downslide of BJP, as his State is actually on the slide. Poverty, joblessness, farmer apathy and not much done to bring Orissa out of Helplessness.
National and regional media to a large extent are biased, selectively highlights negative news on BJP ruled states…but ignores negative news on opposition ruled states…What’s happening? Why no action against it? Why no reforms?
Media gave minimal coverage to Maharashtra protests. It was us Maharashtrian’s who took the issue to another level. Maybe Odisha people and celebrities should come forward to support. They have my support.
They’re not wearing red cap and they don’t have red flag in their hands.So farmers also have categorised and accordingly they get media attention. Presstitutes…
— sanjay jha (@sanjayj64920312) March 15, 2018
Source: Business Standard.com