Telangana State Planning Commission (TSPC) vice-chairman B. Vinod Kumar has claimed that the data gathered by the Centre proves that paddy cultivation has taken up over 59 lakh acres in Telangana during Kharif season.
He asked state BJP president Bandi Sanjay what he will say now after criticising Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao over the extent of paddy cultivation.
Vinod Kumar pointed out that according to the Remote Sensing Centre which mapped cultivation across the country, paddy is being grown in 2.374 million hectares that is 59 lakh acres. This is expected to yield 7.543 million tonnes of paddy.
“When the Chief Minister stated that paddy cultivation has been taken up in the state over about 62 lakh acres, Bandi Sanjay wanted him to prove this. Now what will he say,” asked Vinod Kumar.
The Chief Minister had last week said paddy cultivation had taken up over about 62 lakh acres and demanded that the Centre come forward to lift the entire stock from the state.
The state BJP has been criticising the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government for asking farmers not to grow paddy in the coming season. It disputed KCR’s claim on the extent of paddy cultivation during the current season, saying satellite images do not support this.
TRS had staged protests across the state on Friday, demanding the Centre to procure paddy. State ministers, MPs and state legislators participated in ‘dharna’ in all Assembly constituencies protesting the Centre’s decision not to procure parboiled rice during Yasangi (Rabi) season. They say that procuring paddy from states is the Constitutional responsibility of the Centre.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy on Saturday advised BJP not to mess with farmers saying whoever created problems for them lost power. He alleged that central and state BJP leaders were talking in different tunes on the issue of paddy procurement.
The minister wanted the BJP’s state leadership to show people what they have done for Telangana during the last seven years. He demanded that the Centre announce a clear policy on paddy procurement during Yasangi. Stating that north India continues to be rocked by farmers’ protests, Niranjan Reddy said that the farmers of South India have solidarity with them.
He pointed out that the Centre temporarily stopped the implementation of new farm laws but the farmers continued their protest demanding repeal of the laws.
Stating that 22 crore people in the country have no food security, the minister demanded that the central government take steps to distribute accumulated food stocks among the poor.