A farmers body in Odisha Wednesday announced that it would try to meet and submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the state slated on December 24. The farmers in the state are demanding higher MSP for paddy, which is now fixed at Rs 1750 after an increase of Rs 200 by the Centre.
"We will like to meet the prime minister and apprise him about the problems being faced by farmers of Odisha, besides seeking to know the central government's stand on enhancing the MSP of paddy," Akshay Kumar, the convenor of Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) which is leading the farmers' agitation, told reporters here.
Kumar said that as the prime minister would be visiting the state, there are plans that the farmers would meet him at the meeting venue at Khurda near here. "We have heard from the state government that it has been writing to the prime minister on the farmers' issue. This will be for the first time when farmers will attempt to meet him," he said.
NNKS leader said that the farmers of Odisha have been demanding proper price of agricultural produces, pension for elderly farmers and prestige. Kumar announced that the farmers will also stage a dharna in front of Raj Bhavan here on January 8 here to press their demands. The proposed dharna will take place the same day as the demonstration planned by the ruling BJD in front of the Parliament on farmers issue.
The state unit of BJP has chalked out a strategy to ghero Odisha secretariat on the same issue. The BJP activists will also gherao chief minister Naveen Patnaik's residence on the same day. The Sanghathan has also announced that they would intensify agitation from February 1 if the state government fails to meet their demands price, prestige and pension by the deadline of January 31 set by it.
Opposition Congress too plans to stage a demonstration near Raj Bhavan demanding farm loan waiver and enhanced MSP on paddy, sources in the party. The CPI-M has also demanded an increase in the MSP to Rs 3000. The NNKS members had on December 14 held a march to Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum to Governor Ganeshi Lal over several demands.
(With inputs from agencies.)