Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao accused the Centre today of not purchasing paddy and threatened to dump the grains in the BJP office. “The BJP says grow paddy, but the Centre is not buying. They are playing political games. If you don’t buy, we will come and dump paddy in the BJP office,” he said while holding a protest with cabinet colleagues and other leaders of his ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi against the NDA government’s alleged anti-farmer attitude and unhelpful stance over paddy procurement.
Last year, the Centre had procured 78 per cent of crops produced during the monsoon. This year, the figure is 59 per cent. The state has produced 55.75 lakh metric tonnes of paddy, of which only 32.66 lakh metric tonnes have been procured. Centre had said they would procure 40 lakh metric tonnes.
The stare, however, wants them to take 90 per cent of the produce. Besides, procurement of 5 lakh metric tonnes of Rabi paddy is also pending.
He said 50 days ago, he had requested Food minister Piyush Goyal to set the target for paddy procurement from the state. But there has been no response from the Centre, he alleged. He said he has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday on the issue.
“For 50 days they ignored our pleas. We have thrown away posts in the past during Telangana struggle. We will take leadership in this,” the Chief Minister said, addressing people in a protest site in Hyderabad.
“We started this battle because our farming community may suffer due to the Centre’s policies… We say you change your attitude, come to the rescue of farmers, withdraw the autocratic farm laws and change the policy to install metres at agriculture pump sets. This battle is not going to end today,” he added.
Pointing out that his party was criticised by the BJP over its recent dharnas recently on paddy procurement despite being in power, Mr Rao said PM Modi, as Gujarat Chief Minister, held a protest for 51 hours in 2006.
“A message is going out from this that pitiable circumstances of CMs, Ministers and MLAs having to sit on dharna prevail in this country,” he said.