The BJP Tuesday accused Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of "running away from his responsibility" with his agitation here over the issue of paddy price and blaming the Union government.
Patnaik attended a sit-in of his party here, demanding increase in minimum support price (MSP) for paddy and slamming the Modi government for "not keeping its promises".
Hitting back at Patnaik, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the BJD chief quotes from the Swaminathan committee's recommendations to question the central government but appears to be unaware that M S Swaminathan, who had authored the report, has praised the Modi government's measures to boost farm income.
Taking a dig at the state chief minister, Pradhan said he (Patnaik) speaks whatever his "ignorant" advisers tell him as he mostly reads out from a written statement.
"The BJD is in nexus with mill owners and as mandis are yet to be opened, farmers in the state are forced to sell their paddy anywhere between Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,200 per quintal," he said.
Last year, the Union government had increased paddy MSP from Rs 1,550 to Rs 1,750 per quintal.
Patnaik Tuesday alleged that the Centre ignored repeated requests to raise MSP for paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal.
Hitting back, Pradhan, who is also from Odisha, said: "In a bid to shift the responsibility, the chief minister has staged demonstration in New Delhi. But he cannot run away from his responsibility. He should answer why Mandis are not opened. Why paddy is not procured at Rs 1,750 per quintal MSP fixed by the central government."
Questioning BJD's seriousness, he asked if its MPs "ever raised" the issue strongly in Parliament.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)