Biju Janata Dal backs MSP demand of farmers, says will not allow anybody tarnish Patnaik's clean image

The BJD, however, stayed away from the December 8 Bharat Bandh against the new agri laws
Last Updated 21 December 2020, 09:34 IST

Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal supported farmers demand for Minimum Support Price and resolved to fight for implementation of M S Swaminathan Committee report on the issue. The party stated that the inclusive development of the farmers has always been a key focus of the BJD government in the state.

"Our party is with the farmers on MSP issues and we will continue our fight for the same as per the Swaminathan Committee recommendations," the party said in one of the resolutions passed at its state executive committee meeting that ended last evening.

The Odisha cabinet had at a recent meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved a proposal to demand the Centre to implement Swaminathan committee recommendations on MSP.

The Naveen Patnaik-led party has opposed the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and the Farm Services Act, in Parliament.

The BJD, however, stayed away from the December 8 Bharat Bandh against the new agri laws.

As many as nine political resolutions were passed at the two-day meeting taking place ahead of the party's 24th Foundation Day scheduled to be observed on December 26. Patnaik, who also heads the regional party, attended the executive meet virtually.

Stung by the arrest of the party legislator from Gopalpur Pradeep Panigrahi on charge of cheating and fraud, the BJD leaders asserted they would not allow any attempt to tarnish the clean image of Patnaik, the USP of the party which is in power in the eastern state continuously since 2000.

The party has expelled Panigrahi, once a close aide of the chief minister, from the BJD following his alleged involvement in the job scam. The opposition parties are attacking the BJD government on the issue.

The party would fight against the centre's "negligence and negative attitude" towards the state, BJD General Secretary (organisation) Pranab Prakash Das, MLA, considered as number two in the party after Patnaik, said while addressing the meeting.

One of the important resolutions approved unanimously was to demand 33 per cent reservation for women both in the Assembly and Parliament as well as protection of Odisha's rich culture and heritage.

The BJD's primary membership number has crossed one crore in the state, party leader Sanjay Dasburma said, adding that the regional party has emerged as the number one organisation in the state. "One in every 4.5 persons in Odisha is now a BJD member," Dasburma claimed.

He said the government led by chief minister Naveen Patnaik has been emphasising on the protection of Odisha's language, culture and tradition. The chief minister has taken all responsibilities for the growth of the Odia language, BJD vice-president and MLA Debi Prasad Mishra told reporters after the meeting.

The meeting also resolved to continue the party's demand for special category state status for Odisha. "Though the central government gives assurance to fulfil Odisha's demand for special category state status, the state has been betrayed," the resolution said.

Dasburma said, "Odisha is the most deserving state to get the special category status. But, the centre has failed to meet its commitment to grant it".

While attending the meeting, many leaders opined that the centre's negative attitude towards Odisha and negligence have come has hurdles before the development of the state. However, the state has successfully overcome all hurdles due to effective and visionary leadership of Patnaik, they said.

Though the state is being frequently hit by natural calamities like cyclones and floods, Odisha successfully handles all such disasters due to effective management by the chief minister, they said. The party also passed a resolution for the development of the people belonging to scheduled tribe, scheduled caste, minority and other backward classes.

(Published 21 December 2020, 07:25 IST)

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