Stalemate continues in Odisha Assembly over paddy procurement issues

·2-min read

Bhubaneswar, Feb 20 (PTI) Stalemate continued in the Odisha Assembly for the third consecutive day of the budget session on Saturday as the opposition BJP and the Congress created a ruckus in the House over alleged irregularities in the process of paddy procurement by the state government.

As soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour, the opposition members rushed to the well, demanding an announcement from the government that all paddy bags would be procured from farmers in the next seven days.

BJP MLAs shouted slogans against the state government, while a section of Congress legislators led by party chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati attempted to climb the speaker's podium.

Speaker S N Patro requested the opposition members to return to their seats and participate in the proceedings.

Amid the agitation by the opposition legislators, the speaker asked Food Supplies, Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Minister R P Swain to make a statement on the procurement of paddy.

The minister informed the House that the government will procure paddy till March 31, 2021.

He also said 55.03 lakh MT of paddy has so far been procured, up by 21 per cent from 45.61 lakh MT lifted last year.

The opposition members, however, continued their agitation despite the minister's announcement that the government will receive paddy from farmers till March 31.

As Patro's request to members seeking their cooperation failed to yield any result, he adjourned the House twice, first during the pre-lunch session, and finally from 11.30 am to 4 pm.

The BJP members expressed their displeasure over the minister's statement and sought a discussion through a motion in the House.

Opposition chief whip and senior BJP leader Mohan Majhi said, 'We had demanded suspension of all businesses in the House and a discussion on the farmers' issues. The state government is not ready for it.' Congress member Bahinipati said the speaker has not accepted their notice for a discussion on the paddy procurement issues. PTI AAM BDC BDC