Hyderabad:The Lok Satta Party today demanded that Ministers halt revolving round Kadapa where by-elections are taking place and focus their attention on rescuing rabi rice farmers badly hit by unusual rains.
Farmers will not forgive the Government if it lets them again now as during the kharif season, warned Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma and Secretary P. Bhaskara Rao. The power-obsessed Government is unconcerned about all public issues other than the Kadapa by-elections, they charged.
In a media statement, the Lok Satta leaders pointed out that rains have damaged the rabi paddy crop in East and West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Nalgonda and other districts. The State Government should exert pressure on the Union Government to permit export of boiled rice, which commands a market abroad. (Rain-soaked paddy is fit for conversion into boiled rice).
The Lok Satta Party leaders recalled that during the kharif season the State Government failed to enable farmers to market paddy outside the State and persuade the Government of India to permit exports outside the country. With both the Government and rice millers letting them down, farmers had to make distress sales at Rs.100 to Rs.200 less than the minimum support prices.
The leaders said that rains have damaged crops like maize, chilli, and turmeric and plantations like banana and mango in Coastal Andhra and districts like Karimnagar and Khammam in Telangana.
They wanted the Government to permit farmers to sell paddy/rice anywhere in the country, pressurize the Union Government to permit export of fine rice and boiled rice, dispatch teams to study crop losses and arrange for payment of compensation to farmers.