Congress leaders clash with Odisha police during protest over farmer’s issue

Update: 2024-02-26 16:35 GMT
Congress workers during protest march in Bhubaneswar on Friday. (Right) OPCC president Sarat Pattanayak

Congress leaders clash with Odisha police during protest over farmer’s issue

Bhubaneswar: Lower PMG Square in Odisha capital Bhubaneswar on Monday virtually turned into a battlefield as scores of Congress workers tried to gherao the state secretariat accusing the Naveen Patnaik government of failing to provide good governance and patronising corruption.

Led by Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Sarat Pattanayak and All India Congress Committee (AICC) state in-charge Dr Ajoy Kumarm, senior leaders and workers of the party managed to break the initial security cordon and began to march towards Lokseva Bhawan, the state secretariat. They were stopped on the way by the security personnel. This led to a scuffle between both sides.

Speaking to reporters during the protest rally, OPCC president Mr Pattanayak said the party was forced to hit the streets as the state government neglected the farmers and the poor and paid a blind eye to the suffering of women and children.

“Farm distress is a major issue in the state. As per the National Statistical Office (NSO) data, the monthly earning of a farmer’s family from agriculture source is just Rs 5,112. It implies that the family earns Rs 170 a day. How can a farmer feed his family of four to five members with such a meager amount, led alone provide good education to children?” observed Pattanayak.

The OPCC, quoting data from National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), said Odisha had turned into one of the unsafe places for women and children.

“Women are increasingly seen being subjected to various kinds of oppression and exploitation. Many children, most of them girl children, go missing. Surprisingly, the ruling BJD has failed to address these issues,” he said, adding, the BJD was unmoved to punish the mining scam and chit fund scam accused.

Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said over 15 lakh from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s home district Ganjam have migrated outside in search of work as the state government failed to provide the jobs.

“The state government has failed to provide jobs to youths. Prices of petrol, diesel and gas have increased. Both the BJP at the Centre and the BJD government here are exploiting people. Farmers are not able to sell their produce and are falling victim to distress sale.


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