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Farmers' umbrella organisation in Odisha threatens to opt for NOTA

Press Trust of India  |  Sambalpur (Odisha) 

The Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanwaya Samiti (POKSSS), an umbrella body of various farmer organisations, has announced that it would mobilise farmers to opt for NOTA in the upcoming elections.

The POKSSS convener, Lingaraj, made the announcement on Saturday.

According to sources more than 50 lakh farmers in Western Odisha are associated with the organisation.

"The leaders and the activists of POKSSS have been asked to opt for NOTA (none of the above). They would also campaign and mobilise the farmers to opt for NOTA, instead of voting for the Congress, the BJD and the BJP," POKSSS Convener Lingaraj told reporters.

The KALIA and the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi schemes are clever tactics to evade the major demands of the farmers such as complete waiver of loan, implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations and bonus for the agricultural produces at the state level, he said.

Both the BJP and BJD have betrayed the farmers, he alleged.

The POKSSS also slammed the Congress.

"The Swaminathan Commission was formed in 2004 when there was Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. The report of the commission was submitted in 2006.

"Though the party was in power for 8 years after the report was submitted, the Congress did not show any interest to implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission," Lingaraj said.

The farmers will raise all these questions when the leaders of various political parties start campaigning in villages, he said, adding, the farmers will also ask them whether they have fulfilled the promises they had made in 2014, another POKSSS Convener, Ashok Pradhan, said.

The POKSSS also prepared a list of questions in this regard, and they are - why the agricultural work has been recognised as non-skilled, why the Farmers' Income Commission is not being formed, why the government is not acknowledging the incidents of farmer suicides, why the Union and state governments have remained silent over the Mahanadi water dispute, why no measures are being taken to give legal status to share croppers, when will the old relief code will change and why all the political parties are reluctant to give compensation to the farmers.

The POKSSS also released a leaflet on Saturday, incorporating all the questions in it.

It was released by 35-year-old Malti Khadia of Dengimocha, whose husband, Uje Khadia had allegedly committed suicide due to loan burden and crop loss in 2012.

"The leaflets will be distributed among the farmers so that they could ask the questions to the political leaders," said Pradhan.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 31 2019. 14:20 IST