Other States

Ruckus in Odisha Assembly over Mahanadi, farmers’ issues

The Odisha Assembly on Monday witnessed repeated adjournments after question hour as members of the ruling BJD and the Opposition Congress and the BJP created pandemonium over the Mahanadi and farmers' issues.

Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat, however, managed to pass the supplementary budget of 39 departments through guillotine amid the din prevailing in the House.

After question hour, the BJP members raised the farmers’ issue and stormed into the well of the House demanding loan waiver. They shouted slogans against the BJD government and termed it “anti-farmer” .

Pest attack

The farmers of the State are badly affected as the kharif crop has been hit by drought, pest attack and unseasonal rain.

The BJD members, on the other hand, raised the Mahanadi issue and accused the Centre of being partisan.

They alleged that the Centre was supporting the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh which was constructing projects upstream of the Mahanadi river “illegally”.

Odisha has been opposing construction of a number of barrages and dams by Chhattisgarh on the upper reaches of the Mahanadi river, saying it would affect the State’s farmers.

The Centre had told the Supreme Court on December 6 that the ongoing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the Mahanadi should be sorted out through negotiations between the parties concerned.

Sanjay Dasburma of the BJD claimed that the Chhattisgarh government has planned river interlinking to draw more water from the Mahanadi and, in that case, Odisha would soon go dry.

Amid the heated exchange of words between members of the two parties, the Speaker adjourned the House till 3 p.m.

When the House reassembled, Leader of the Opposition Narasingha Mishra of the Congress sought a ruling from the Speaker on the alleged exploitation of paddy farmers at government mandis.

Explanation sought

Mr. Mishra said the Agriculture Minister should clarify in the House as to why the government mandis deduct about 5 kg on each 100 kg of paddy being sold by farmers.

As the Speaker proceeded with other business, the Congress MLAs rushed to the well and raised anti-government slogans alleging distress sale of paddy by farmers.

While the BJP members also joined the Congress MLAs, the treasury bench members again raised the Mahanadi issue creating a ruckus and the Speaker adjourn the House till 4.28 p.m.

When the House reassembled, a similar scene was recreated by the Opposition members.

However, the Speaker managed to pass the additional expenditure statement of 39 departments through guillotine and adjourned the House till tomorrow.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 7:28:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ruckus-in-odisha-assembly-over-mahanadi-farmers-issues/article21461537.ece

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