Payment of Rs. 2,000 monthly pension to farmers till next harvest season sought

Navanirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS), farmers’ organisation, here on Monday threatened to resort to civil disobedience even as its hunger strike entered 15th day here on Monday.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Akshaya Kumar, NKS State convenor, said that the Naveen Patnaik government has little sympathy for farmers, who bear brunt of frequent natural disasters in the State.

“We had put forth a simple demand of making payment of Rs. 2,000 per month to farmers as pension till next harvest season. Farmers had been badly battered in cyclonic storm ‘Phailin’ and subsequent floods,” Mr. Kumar, who is on hunger strike, said.

Mr. Akshaya Kumar said that the State government did not make any serious overtures to discuss the issue during last 15 days.

“Once we had a talk with Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra. He showed his inability to consider our demand,” the NKS leader said.

If Rs. 2,000 per month pension is paid to farmers, only Rs. 1,000 crore would be required and the fund would not be burdensome, Mr. Kumar said.

To express solidarity with the NKS, former information commissioner Jagadananda, noted organic famer Natabar Sarangi and veteran journalist Rabi Das met NKS activists at the venue of hunger strike.

It is to be noted four NKS activists had raised slogans from visitors’ gallery during last winter session of Odisha Legislative Assembly.