The Odisha Assembly Friday remained adjourned for an hour from 10:30 AM to 111:30 AM following a ruckus by opposition members over the death of a farmer in Boudh district allegedly due to his loan burden.
Shortly after the House assembled for question hour at half past ten in the morning, BJP and Congress lawmakers stormed into the well of the House, urging Speaker B K Arukha to suspend it to allow a discussion on farmer deaths. When repeated requests by Arukha to maintain order in the House failed to yield any result, the proceeding was adjourned for an hour to 11.30 AM.
The Opposition members raised the issue of Dharani Behera who died at the Bausuni mandi in Boudh district while waiting to dispose of his paddy. Though he was given a token to sell his produce on January 25, his produce was allegedly not lifted and he waited for a long time. The farmer died due to a heart attack on Thursday, opposition members alleged.
When the House reassembled at 11.30 AM, Leader of Opposition Jaynarayan Mishra (BJP) said that the farmer was under stress as he failed to sell his paddy at the government mandi and he had to repay his debt. He said though farmers' issues are discussed in every session of the House their problems remained unresolved and they continued to suffer.
Mishra also alleged that the farmers are not getting a proper minimum support price of Rs 2040 per quintal for paddy in the state-run mandis and therefore go for distress sale outside. Arukha then informed the House that the ruling party has given notice of the discussion on the agriculture issue and that opposition members can speak on the subject during the debate.
Mishra, however, maintained that the Opposition was not aware of the ruling party’s notice and the subject of the discussion to be held in the House. If the discussion is held on political lines, BJP will focus on farmers' plight only, he added.
(With PTI inputs)