Patnaik keeps all guessing on BJD s stand on farm legislations

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 27 (PTI) The ruling BJD is yet to clear its stand on the three controversial farm legislations though barely a day is left for the commencement of the crucial budget session of Parliamen when the issue is likely to dominate the proceedings.

The parliamentary session begins on January 29.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had presided over the BJD Parliamentary Party meeting here on January 25 but the issue relating to the controversial farm laws was not discussed.

Patnaik, who is also the BJD president, had, however, asked the MPs to raise 13 points including the demand for 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, the party's Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Sasmit Patra told the media.

Quizzed by the media about the party's stand on the farm laws, he said 'I do not have information on the same (farm laws).

The Biju Janata Dal, which has 12 members in Lok Sabha and nine MPs in Rajya Sabha, had supported the Centres three farm bills in Lok Sabha. The regional party had changed its stand later in Rajya Sabha and had demanded that then farm bills be referred to the Select Committee for further discussion.

The state government had earlier issued an ordinance and later introduced three Bills in the Assembly in line with the central legislations. The bills are, however, yet to come up for discussion in the assembly.

Patra said that BJD MPs will demand implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee report for raising the minimum support price on all food grains. They will demand the doubling of the MSP for paddy, which is now fixed at Rs 1868 per quintal.

The opposition BJP in Odisha has meanwhile made the alleged irregularities in the paddy procurement a major issue in the state. It has launched a major agitation in the western region of the state and accused the BJD government of not giving proper MSP to farmers.

Senior BJD leader Amar Prasad Satpathy said the party has been fighting in the interest of the farmers and will continue to do so. PTI AAM KK KK KK