Mixed response to Odisha bandh by farmers’ body

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Odisha band, Nirman Krushak Sangathan, price, prestige, educational institutions, mixed response, anti-farmer policies,

A 12-hour bandh called by the Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) demanding price, prestige and pension for farmers in Odisha evoked a mixed response in several parts of the state on Thursday.

Though there were no reports of a shutdown of any business establishments and educational institutions, traffic was hit at several places in Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak Jajpur and the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Utkal University has postponed all examinations scheduled for Thursday.

The state government had urged the NNKS to desist from the bandh saying it would impact students appearing for their class 10 board examinations, beginning February 22.

“We are demanding price, pension and prestige for the farmers. We are demanding a hike in minimum support price and social security. But the state government is not taking any steps for the farmers,” said an agitating farmer.

The Congress and the BJP have extended support to the shutdown.

“Odisha Congress and I support the farmers of Odisha, who have come out on the roads today raising voice against the anti-farmer policies of CM Naveen Patnaik. The farmers of the state need the guarantee of the Congress and not the hoodwinking of the BJD,” tweeted Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik.

Claiming that the state government has taken several steps for the benefit of the farmers, Agriculture Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “It is unfortunate that the farmer’s body has called for the bandh ignoring students. That two national parties are supporting it is even more unfortunate.”