Patnaik to join BJD's protest on Tuesday for minimum support price of paddy

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to join the BJD's day-long demonstration demanding a hike in MSP of paddy, at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday.

"Our party president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik will join us at the demonstration," BJD MP Prasanna Acharya said over phone from New Delhi.

He said Patnaik will also lead a party delegation and meet President Ram Nath Kovind in the evening.

The party will submit a memorandum to the President, Acharya, who is also president of the president of Biju Krushak Janata Dal, said.

The BJD has been demanding a hike in paddy MSP to Rs 2,930 per quintal and a resolution in this regard was passed in the assembly, supported by both the Congress and the BJP.

However, the Centre did not accept the state's demand and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to meet the delegation of Odisha in this regard, Acharya said.

Apart from the chief minister, Odisha ministers, BJD MPs, MLAs, leaders, farmers and youth wings of the party will join the protest in New Delhi.

The Opposition BJP, on the other hand, has said it would gherao the state secretariat and 'Naveen Niwas', on the farmers' issue.

"The BJD has failed to provide basic amenities like irrigation, power supply, storage facilities to the farmers in the state. The BJD leaders are holding a picnic at Delhi," said BJP spokesman Golak Mohapatra.

Describing the BJD's planned demonstration at Delhi as a farce, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik in a statement said: "This is another gimmick of the BJD before the 2019 general election to woo farmers."

The OPCC chief added that prior to the 2014 elections, the BJD had taken its party members to Delhi by a special train to demand special-category status for Odisha, but the result was "a big zero".

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