Pandemonium in Odisha Assembly over distress sale of vegetables

Bhubaneswar, Feb 28 (IANS) The Odisha Assembly on Tuesday witnessed pandemonium as the opposition Congress members raised the issue of distress sale of vegetables by farmers across the state in the wake of the central government’s demonetisation move.

The House witnessed several adjournments over the issue. Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the house till Wednesday after disruptions by the opposition.

Raising the issue, the Congress Chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati held the state government responsible for the distress sale. Other Congress members also rushed into the well and demanded compensation for the farmers resorting to distress sale of vegetables.

They alleged that the farmers were selling their vegetables in distress due to lack of cold storages and effective marketing link in tribal dominated districts like Keonjhar, Koraput, Rayagada and Bargarh.

“Demonetisation has affected the farmers. Being unable to sell their farm produce, they are dumping it. The central and state governments are not willing to solve the problems of the farmers. We demand compensation for the farmers as soon as possible,” Bahinipati told the media.

He also demanded a reply from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“The farmers of Keonjhar district on Monday dumped quintals of fresh tomatoes on the road in front of the Collector’s office after being unable to sell the produce at a proper price. They could not even get 50 paise per kg of tomatoes,” said the Congress member.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) members blamed demonetisation being the reason for the distress sale.

“The farmers have been affected by demonetisation. Local traders are unable to procure vegetables from farmers due to lack of money. However, vegetable production has increased this year,” said BJD MLA Susanta Singh.

–IANS

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