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NKS To Go Ahead With ‘Odisha Bandh’ Despite Govt Appeal, Public Outcry Against Decision


19 February 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: The Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) has turned down Odisha Government’s appeal to withhold the ‘Odisha Bandh’ call on February 21. NKS Convener, Akshaya Kumar today said that the farmer’s association will go ahead with its decision and observe Odisha Bandh on Thursday.

As the Matriculation examinations begin a day later, on February 22, the State Government had proposed to NKS to withdraw the decision. A strike on the penultimate day, will impact movement of vehicles carrying question papers, security personnel, students, parents and other paraphernalia for the smooth conduct of an important examination, the Government stated.

NKS’ decision has not been welcomed by intelligentsia of the State. “Matriculation exam is a high point in young students’ career. It lays the foundation the State’s budding future. Any form of protest, just before the examination day, is certainly not advisable. The NKS should have postponed the ‘Odisha Bandh’ to a later date,” senior journalist Dilip Bisoi said.

There are chances that the students/examinees might not be able to reach their centres on time. Since it is a question of the career of students, the Nabanirman Krushak Sabgathan should introspect and reconsider the Bandh call, added Bisoi.

Senior journalist Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra advised NKS to withdraw the strike immediately. “Fighting for one's right is legitimate but 'bandhs' are a negative approach to achieve this objective. “The students need to go to the centres a day before the examination begins. If the NKS continues with the strike, it will lose public sympathy," Mohapatra said.

Kumar, on the hand said that NKS activists would not detain vehicles carrying question papers. “This is not a political fight. We are striking for the farmers and will ensure that the students or the examination are not affected by any means.”

Speaking about the bandh call, Agriculture Minister Sashi Bhushan Behera said that State Government’s schemes for farmers of Odisha such as KALIA have been recognized nationally.

“The Government is keen on discussing the concerns raised by the NKS. While the Government is committed to the development and welfare of farmers, we are open to discussions with the NKS on pension and other matters,” he said.

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Dilip Bisoi, Senior Journalist

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Prabhu Kalyan Mohapatra, Senior Journalist

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Sashi Bhushan Behera, Agriculture Minister, Odisha

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Akshaya Kumar, Convener, Nabanirman Krushak Sangathan