BHUBANESWAR: The farmers’ protest against centralised token system for paddy procurement found its echo in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Raising the issue in the Lower House of the Parliament, BJP MP from Bargarh Suresh Pujari sought the intervention of the Centre to stop the token system and persuade the State Government to procure paddy from the farmers without any restrictions.
“The farmers are on the streets protesting the token system introduced by the State Government for paddy procurement. They have blocked the National Highways and offices of the district collectors, sub-collectors and tehsildars are under siege due to the protest,” Pujari said. Claiming that no State in the country follows the token system, the BJP law maker said such a system will ruin the farmers.
Making a strong plea for going back to the old system of first-come-first-serve for procurement, he requested the Speaker to direct the Centre to hold discussions with Odisha Government and resolve the issue by withdrawing the token system.
Even as farmers of Bargarh and Sambalpur districts have withdrawn their agitation following assurance from Labour Employment Minister Sushanta Singh and deputy government chief whip Rohit Pujari that the token system will be withdrawn, there is confusing signals from the State Government on the contentious issue.
Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister RP Swain on Wednesday categorically stated that there will be no compromise on the centralised token issue system. The State Government is yet to endorse the commitment made by Singh to the farmers at Sambalpur and Bargarh that the token system will be done away with.
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