Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel kept up the pressure on the Centre and the BJP over the procurement of paddy at an all-party meeting on Tuesday, even as the saffron party boycotted the meet, saying they were not duly informed.

Baghel held the meeting in Raipur for members of Parliament and farmer groups from the state. At the meet, the Congress demanded that the Centre relax its norms for the acquisition of paddy into a central pool for those states that give farmers a paddy bonus. The Baghel government has been buying paddy from farmers at the rate of Rs 2,500 per quintal — higher than the MSP of Rs 1,815 per quintal — arguing that the step is putting money into the hands of the farmers and is helping the economy.

Baghel said that the saffron party must make clear whether it is against giving farmers Rs 2,500 per quintal. He also said that the Centre had waived off its rules of paddy procurement for the previous BJP state government when it offered farmers a paddy bonus.

However, the BJP insisted that it was not invited to the meet. BJP state chief Vikram Usendi said, “The Congress is doing drama on this, and our leaders were not notified in time. Further, they are trying to lay blame on the Centre for their incorrect policies.”