BJP in Odisha Monday said it will extend support to shutdown called in the state by Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS), a farmers' organisation, on Thursday over pension and other demands. Stating that farmers have the right to express their opinion and stage protest in a democracy, BJP Odisha unit president Basant Panda claimed that the BJD government has been trying to throttle the voice of the farmers which needs to be protested.
The NNKS has called for a 12-hour Odisha Bandh on February 21 to protest the alleged apathy of the state government towards the farming community. "Our party will support the NNKS, which has been demanding pension and proper price agricultural produce for farmers," Panda said.
National convener of NNKS Akshaya Kumar alleged that the state government has deprived the farmers of their right to speech and freedom. He said the organisation has requested political parties, think-tanks, traders' associations and the bus and truck operators to support the farmers' cause and make the bandh successful..
(With inputs from agencies.)