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Congress demands Assembly session to discuss agrarian crisis

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Sunday demanded that the State Government convene an emergency session of Legislative Assembly and Council to discuss agrarian crisis in the State.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the preliminary report prepared by the State Government on damage to agriculture sector due to recent heavy rains was erroneous. He said that the State Government, in its report, stated that recent rains and floods damaged crops spread across only 445,792 Acres. They include Soyabean – 78,000 Ha; Cotton – 39,000 Ha; Paddy – 31,800; Maize – 9400 Ha; Bajra – 5400 Ha and Chilli – 8,000 Ha. He said that theses estimations were completely wrong and the damage is much higher.
The Congress leader said that farmers of Telangana had lost four consecutive crops due to drought conditions. Now they completely lost their livelihood in recent heavy rains. Instead of extending required help, the State Government was suppressing real figures of damages and submitting an erroneous report to the Centre. He demanded that the State Government undertake a real assessment of damage on war footing basis and prepare a comprehensive report. He said that the Chief Minister should take an all-party delegation to New Delhi to seek Central assistance for affected farmers.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the State Government should immediately extend financial assistance to the affected farmers without waiting for the Central relief. He demanded that the government pay compensation of Rs. 10,000 per acre for paddy, maize and wheat crops. Similarly, he said Rs. 20,000 per acre should be paid for Mirchi, Cotton and Soyabean. Likewise, Rs. 35,000 per acre compensation should be paid for Toor and Moong Dals. The government should pay a compensation of Rs. 35,000 per acre for fruits and vegetable farmers.
The TPCC chief alleged that the State Government has diverted Rs. 720 crore which was received from the Centre towards Input Subsidy for farmers.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the strongly condemned the Chief Minister for not visiting the farmers who were hit due to recent rains. He said that all ministers too ignored meeting the rain-hit farmers. He said that KCR should immediately convene an emergency meeting of Assembly and Council if he was really serious and concerned towards farmers.
The Congress leader alleged that the TRS Government has completely neglected the agriculture sector. He said that the agriculture and its allied sectors were badly hit since 2014 due to the wrong policies and decisions of TRS Government. He said farmers were unable to get relief from bad loans due to non-fulfillment of promise of waiver of crop loans. He said that the government had split the crop loan waiver amount into many instalments and nearly Rs. 4,000 crore of third instalement were yet to be released.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao had no money to clear dues of crop loan waiver scheme, fee reimbursement and Aarogyasri. But the Chief Minister is religiously ensuring prompt payments to contractors of Mission Bhagaritha and Mission Kakatiya. He accused KCR of deliberately neglecting the people’s welfare while paying full attention to schemes that could fetch kickbacks and commissions.
The TPCC Chief said that the Congress party had effectively raised issues concerning farmers in both Legislative Assembly and Council. He said that the party also took out Kisan Bharosa Yatra across the State to instill confidence among farmers and prevent them from committing suicide. However, the TRS Government appears to be in no mood to change its attitude and approach towards farming community.
Former minister Ponnala Laxmaiah alleged that the State government has been neglecting “Upadi Haami Scheme” totally and described the TRS government as anti-farmer.
TPCC working president Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka alleged that the TRS government has forgotten its word of making the State into ‘Seed Bowl’ of the country. The farmers in the State were facing huge losses due to fake seed, he claimed and demanded that the government cancel licenses of the companies which were distributing fake seed. Demanding a white paper on Rs 90,000 crore Central aid released to the State, V Hanumantha Rao reminded the statement of the BJP national president Amit Shah that the Union government released Rs 90,000 crore. “But the TRS government was saying that the Centre had not given Rs 90,000 crore to the State”, he said.
CLP leader K. Jana Reddy, Madhu Yashki Goud and M. Anjan Kumar Yadav and Kisan Cell chairman Kodanda Reddy were also present. (NSS)