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Congress, BJP brace for stir on farmer issues




 The Opposition Congress and BJP today geared themselves to launch struggle for resolving the issues being faced by farmers across the State with the farmers’ wing of State Congress today announcing a month-long agitation from July 20 and the saffron party launching its signature campaign across State to demand farm loan waiver and agriculture loans at lower rate of interest.

A delegation of the Krushak Morcha of Pradesh Congress led by Convenor Amiya Patnaik today threatened to launch a month-long agitation from July 20 demanding a further hike of minimum support price (MSP) of paddy and waiver of farm loans by the State government are not met by that time.

The delegation met Governor Dr SC Jamir to submit a memorandum in this regard at Raj Bhawan.

Patnaik told reporters later that  the party will hold protest meetings in front of the Raj Bhavan in Bhubaneswar and the Collectors’ offices across the State during the agitation.

Notably, the party has been demanding a further hike over the Rs 80 announced by the Centre few days ago and waiver of farm loans on the line several state governments have announced recently.

The BJP farmers’ wing also geared itself to begin its signature campaign across the State from tomorrow 1 to press for farm loan waiver in State.

The Krushak Morcha of the party will collect signature from 36,000 booths in the State during the fortnight-long campaign to end on June 15. It will also demand interest free loan to farmers.

Morcha General Secretary Surath Biswal said the party activists will reach out to 50 lakh families and make them aware about the inability of State government that forced the farming community into distress in State.

Biswal said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said on Akshaya Tritiya day that waiver of farm loan is under government’s consideration.

While Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra have already waived the loans, Odisha government has so far ignored the demands of the farming community, he added.

Biswal has also demanded interest-free loans to State’s farmers as has been done in other states.

Notably, the BJP Krushak Morcha campaign precedes the plan of the ruling BJD to launch an agitation across the State from July 10 to demand further hike in the minimum support price of paddy which was recently raised by Rs 80 by the Union Government.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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