Updated: November 18, 2021 1:17:18 pm
Demanding the Union government to make its stand clear on paddy procurement from Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao staged a protest in Hyderabad on Thursday. All ministers, state legislators, MPs and other elected representatives of the ruling party reached Hyderabad’s Indira Park this morning and will continue to sit on a protest till 1 pm today.
The protest comes in the backdrop of the continuing war of words between the ruling TRS and BJP over paddy procurement in the state. This also marks KCR’s first protest against the Modi government.
“We started this battle because our farming community may suffer due to the Centre’s policies, and as the Central Government of the day is showing reluctance, negligence towards farmers and agriculture,” Rao said. “We say you change your attitude, come to the rescue of farmers, withdraw the autocratic farm laws and change the policy to instal metres at agriculture pump sets. This battle is not going to end today and we have to fight till the end,” he said, addressing the gathering at Dharna Chowk.
The fight will have to be intensified in the future, till the interests of Telangana farmers are safeguarded, by combining forces with the “struggle of the farming community in north India,” he said.
On Wednesday, Rao wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging the Centre to direct the FCI to confirm the target of rice procurement from the state during ensuing Rabi season, among others.
Rao alleged that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) was following certain policies which created confusion in the minds of farmers, as well as state governments, like the procurement target not being fixed for the entire year in one go and procurement not keeping pace, though production was increasing year by year. Due to these policies, it was becoming difficult for states to plan an appropriate cropping pattern and explain the same to farmers, he said.
To clear these confusions and fix the appropriate target for procurement, he had met Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal in September this year and requested that the annual target for procurement be fixed immediately, he said. Though it has been 50 days since he met the minister, no policy decision had been taken and communicated to him, he said.
Meanwhile, state BJP president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar said the KCR government did not start procurement of the rainy season crop which made farmers wait at procurement centres since the Dasara festival.
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