Cong, Left hold protests in Odisha against farm bills

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Bhubaneswar: The Congress and the Left parties along with farmers held protests across Odisha on Friday, demanding the withdrawal of the farm sector reform bills passed in Parliament.

Activists of Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) led by Akshya Kumar took out rallies in different districts, while members of the Western Odisha Krushak Sangathan under the leadership of Lingaraj staged protests against the bills.

"The farm bills will no way help farmers, rather put them in trouble," Lingaraj said, while CPI(M) leader Suresh Panigrahi accused the NDA government at the Centre of making provisions to exploit farmers.

He said the contract farming will destroy the agricultural economy in the country.

Carrying placards and posters, farmers of other outfits took processions in different parts of the state.

"Allowing corporate and capitalists in the farm sector will cause hardship to poor farmers," Congress MLA Suresh Routray said.

The agitating farmers in Odisha got the support of trade union workers, activists and students.

However, the ruling BJD which opposed the farm bills in the Rajya Sabha did not participate in the protest marches.

Senior BJD leader and MLA Debi Prasad Mishra said the party has already registered its protest against the farm bills in Rajya Sabha.

Leader of Opposition P K Naik of BJP said, "There is no justification to oppose the farm bills. The central government has passed the bills for the welfare of the farmers."

The three bills passed by Parliament are the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

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