By D N Singh
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s action on 15 top functionaries in the rice procurements is a clear signal that, nothing except ethical functioning will be tolerated as regards the well-being of farmers in the state.
Although, some have interpreted the step as a ‘ band-aid’ solution and much more is required to be done to plug several alleged irregularities but, surely it was a stitch-in-time before the issue becomes broader. The action by the chief minister can be seen a mechanism of defense when a litany of charges of lop-sidedness in rice procurement through the token system.
What is interesting, are the banners raised by the main opposition in Odisha, the Bharatiya Janata Party, through abrupt and rather knee-jerk action to demonstrations in several places against the alleged lapses in the token-based rice procurement in the ‘ mandis’ .
The token system was not introduced yesterday but almost a year back. Voices were raised to point out at certain problems and an over-centralization of it and few changes were made can be flawless as it has to pass through a phase of checks and
However, political observers view the action of the Odisha BJP as a cover fire to obfuscate the burning issue of farmers’ bill on which the central government has been pushed to the wall and hold back the laws for a good period of 18 months.
Which obviously lends a sense of victory for the strikers for the time being, forcing the centre to concede the defeat for now at least. It may not be a lasting one although.
Double Whammy For Centre
What is otherwise seen as a step by the centre, is to do away with the embarrassment on January 26 when the farmers have decided to go ahead with the tractors rally on the outer rings of the national capital against the will of the police.
The situation has now grown to be a double whammy for the centre. One, it has to bend backwards on farm bill and, secondly, the proposed tractors rally by the farmers might in all likelihood sully the image of the political dispensation at the centre, politically.
It would have been wise for the centre not to have remained unmoved by the clamors of farmers and could have been more pre-emptive. May be there was some missing links and now the injection of wisdom in hind-sight seems too delayed a step.
About the Author:
DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com