Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday joined the Biju Janata Dal’s day-long protest in New Delhi demanding a hike in minimum support price of paddy.

“Odisha demands hike in MSP for paddy to ₹2,930 per quintal to boost farmers’ income,” Patnaik tweeted. “The Centre should honour its commitment to implement Swaminathan Committee’s recommendation. Our fight for the hike in MSP will continue.”

Patnaik will lead a party delegation and submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind in the evening, PTI quoted Biju Janata Dal MP Prasanna Acharya as saying.

The party has been demanding an increase in the MSP of paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal and a resolution in this regard, supported by both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, was passed in the Assembly. But the Centre did not accept the state’s demand. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had refused to meet the Odisha delegation in this regard, Acharya said.

Several other Odisha ministers, Biju Janata Dal leaders, farmers and youth wing workers of the party also joined the demonstration at the Talkatora Stadium.

Meanwhile, the BJP said it would protest in front of the state secretariat and Patnaik’s residence on the farmers’ issue. “The BJD has failed to provide basic amenities like irrigation, power supply, storage facilities to the farmers in the state,” BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said. “The BJD leaders are holding a picnic in Delhi.”

The Congress said that the protest in Delhi was a farce. “This is another gimmick of the BJD before the 2019 general election to woo farmers,” said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik.

“The BJD should stop shedding crocodile tears in the name of our farmers, as they are equally responsible for destroying the agricultural sector of Odisha,” Niranjan Patnaik tweeted. “Their farmers’ rally is a big farce.”