Hyderabad: Stating that the Leader of Opposition, Mr Nara Chandrababu Naidu, has no right to spell the word ‘farmer’, the Minister for Civil Supplies, Mr D Sridhar Babu, has alleged that the yatras and dharnas staged by the former were only for political survival and restructuring of TDP, which lost people’s support.
Speaking to mediapersons in the Secretariat on Friday, Mr Sridhar Babu said that during his nine-year tenure, Mr Chandrababu Naidu had adopted anti-farmer policies and spent full time with the dream of ‘high tech’. On March 28, 2001, in the Legislative Assembly then Chief Minister, Mr Naidu said: “There were some problems in ensuring MSP to farmers. The farmers need to wait”. But, now the same person was making a hue and cry over delay in purchase of paddy from the farmers. Though the government has set up paddy purchasing centers, the farmers went there at a time due to change in weather. With the huge rush, tokens were being issued to farmers and all paddy that came
to the centers was being purchased.
Strongly reacting to comments made by Mr Naidu that the State government was incapable, the Minister asserted that the people would soon decide whether the main Opposition party was incapable or the Congress government.
“In all, 1,213 paddy purchase centers, including 168 FCI centers, 63 Civil supplies centers and 981 IKP centers have been set up throughout the State to purchase paddy from the farmers. The district authorities have been directed to set up additional IKP centers whereever required”, he added.
Admitting that there was steep hike in crop production, he said that generally crop production in the last rabi was 30 to 35 bags per acre, but in this rabi it was increased to 40 to 45 bags due to favorable weather conditions.
Terming the Yatra of Mr Naidu demanding MSP to the paddy as ‘political yatra’, Mr Sridhar Babu urged the Leader of Opposition not to enact dramas affecting self-confidence of the farmers that could have adverse results. The Leader of Opposition should come with constructive suggestions to solve the issues. He also asked the farmers’ associations not to be swayed by political parties and bring the farmers’ issues to the notice of the government. The overnment was always sympathetic to the demands of farmers, he reminded.
“During nine years regime of TDP, there was only 15 per cent hike in MSP. But during the seven years of the present Congress government, the MSP was increased by 27 per cent. The Chief Minister was also brining pressure on the Centre for increase of MSP by Rs 200 per quintal”, the Minister informed.
The Minister said that the levy of millers would be cancelled, if they exploited the farmers by paying less than MSP to the crop. Toll free number was set up in all the districts to receive complaints from the farmers on MSP and problems being faced at Paddy Purchasing Centers. (NSS)