Paddy procurement issue disrupts Odisha Assembly proceedings- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  Proceedings of the entire day in the Assembly were washed out on Monday as the opposition Congress and BJP members created ruckus over large-scale irregularities and delay in procurement of paddy at Government-run mandis in the State.

The House had to be adjourned 16 times during the day by Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro at short intervals as noisy scenes by the opposition members continued over the issue.

Earlier, as the House assembled for the question hour, BJP members rushed to the well seeking to know why the Speaker rejected their adjournment motion notice for discussion on irregularities in paddy procurement. Congress members also followed the BJP to the well of the House. 

The Speaker had to adjourn the House several times during the pre-lunch and post-lunch sessions and finally till Tuesday when the opposition members refused to return to their seats despite several requests from him. As the protesting MLAs refused to vacate the well of the House, the Speaker convened an all-party meeting to break the stalemate. However, sources said, the issue could not be resolved at the meeting.

“Farmers are unable to sell paddy due to the faulty token policy of the BJD Government. We had given an adjournment notice to the Speaker for a discussion on the matter. But he summarily rejected our demand,” BJP Chief Whip Mohan Majhi told mediapersons 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 the Collectors have ordered officials concerned to register farmers for procurement of paddy, no step has been taken in this direction.”

Bahinipati said farmers 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 it,” he said.

Countering the allegations, senior BJD member Amar Satpathy said the State Government is aware of the situation and doing its best to help the farmers. 

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