(Bhuvaneshvar, 12.02.2014) – More than 500 Odisha Proutist Bloc India (PBI) activists staged a rally and a sit-down near the Odisha Assembly Hall in the state capital Bhuvaneshvar. The chief demands of the activists were 100% employment as a fundamental right, empowerment of farmers to decide the price of their produce, and total prohibition in the state.
A memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister mentioned that Odisha is rich in mineral resources, yet it is the poorest state in India due to capitalists and multinational corporations usurping natural resources in the name of development. PBI wants land , water and forest to be under the control of local people so that there is no possibility of their exploitation at the hands of greedy capitalists.
Industrial status for agriculture
The memorandum in particular focussed on the state´s devastated agricultural sector. Due to distress sale of their produce and crushing loads of debt, farmers in large numbers commit suicide every year.
PBI recommends that agriculture is accorded status of industry in order for farmers to receive their due. Agro- and agrico-industries need to be set up near the place of production of raw materials, and 100% employment to be given to the local population in these industries in order to make them self reliant. This will lead to their economic liberation, and pave way for all round prosperity.
The memorandum also demanded direct election of the Chief Minister by electorates so that such predicament as faced by the people of Delhi can be avoided for ever. CM so elected will be free to form his/her cabinet by choosing people from the legislators or even from amongst outside meritorious persons. Also, politics should be only for the moralists — immoral persons should have no right to participate in the political activities, PBI recommends.
The PBI activists will also demonstrate at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on 3rd March after the conclusion of their National Convention on 1st and 2nd March there.