Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 4, 2019: The Biju Janata Dal on Friday will hold a mega rally here on January 8 to press its demand for increasing the minimum support price of paddy at Rs 2,930 per quintal.

Accusing apathy of the BJP government at the Centre over farmers’ distress due to low pricing of their produce in Odisha, the BJD said the demand for increase in paddy MSP is in line with Swaminathan Committee’s recommendation and should have been acted upon earlier as committed by the BJP in the run-up to the 2014 parliamentary election.

The party announced that it is going to organise a mega rally, to be addressed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, at the Talkatora Stadium on January 8. All BJD MPs, MLAs and senior leaders will participate in the rally, along with a number of farmers who will reach Delhi on a special train.

The BJD’s efforts are aimed at doubling farmers’ income on a priority basis, the leaders said.

The state government has proposed to fix the minimum support price of paddy (common variety) at Rs 2,930 per quintal, up from the Rs 1,750, for the current Kharif marketing season.

The central government has announced the MSP for common Paddy at Rs 1,750 per quintal for the current Kharif marketing season without giving due consideration to the request from the Odisha government, he said.

As the MSP fixed by government for paddy is not commensurate with the rising costs of inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, manure, micro-nutrient, irrigation charges and hiring charges for farm machinery, the farmers of Odisha are deprived of getting a reasonable price for their produce, the BJD said in a statement.

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