Armoor: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Saturday unveiled the manifesto for farmers for 2019 elections.
Addressing the ‘Rythu Sadassu’, a massive public meeting in Aloor mandal of Armoor constituency in Nizamabad district, Uttam Kumar Reddy announced the ‘Armoor Declaration’ which contained three major promises for farmers. If Congress party is voted to power in 2019 elections, he announced that the crop loans up to Rs. 2 lakh would be waived off in a single take and within 100 days after coming to power. Slamming the TRS and BJP Governments for erratic implementation of crop insurance schemes, he said despite payment of huge premium of several crores, not a single farmer got the claims for damages that he suffered due to various factors. He announced that the next Congress Government would lift the burden of crop insurance premium from the farmers and the entire amount would be paid by the government. He also announced that the Market Intervention Fund of Rs. 5,000 crore would be set aside every year to procure the farm produce.
He also announced Minimum Guaranteed prices for 17 crops. He promised Rs. 2,000 for Paddy (Grade A) and regular; Rs. 6,000 for Cotton (both High and Medium quality); Rs. 2,000 for Maize; Rs. 3,500 for Soyabean; Rs. 7,000 for Tur and Green Gram; Rs. 5,000 for Groundnut and Sunflower; Rs. 2,000 for Millets, Jowar (both Hybrid and regular); Rs. 10,000 for Chilli and Turmeric and Rs. 3,000 for Lal Jowar.
Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that the TRS Government has completely neglected the farmers during the last 40 months. He said Rs. 1 lakh crop loan waiver scheme implemented by the TRS Government did not benefit the farmers as it was divided into four instalments. He said farmers remained trapped in debts for four years while the interest on loans got accumulated by huge proportions. He said thousands of farmers were yet to come out of the interest burden which remained uncleared by the TRS Government. He said that the farmers did not get any relief from the Centre or State Governments for the damages they suffered due to drought or unseasonal rains. He said that the input subsidy was denied to farmers. Nearly 7 lakh farmers did not get any compensation under the crop insurance scheme.
The TPCC chief also slammed the State Government for its failure to control the sale of spurious seeds and fertilizers. He said that the government failed to take action against the fake seed companies and instead of getting compensation for the affected farmers, it backed those companies.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that Telangana had a budget of Rs. 5 lakh crore during the last four financial years. However, he said not even Rs. 5 were spent on procurement of agriculture produce. He said chilli farmers of Khammam were implicated in false cases and hand-cuffed when they demanded remunerative prices. Similarly, cotton farmers faced harassment for asking for better prices. He said that the Congress party raised the issue in Assembly and Council and also made representations with the Governor. However, he said that Chief Minister K. Chandhrashekhar Rao did not wake up from his slumber to bail out the farmers. He also held KCR Government responsible for over 3,500 farmers’ suicides and alleged that not a single affected family was extended any help by the government. While the neighbouring States provided bonus in addition to MSP on various crops, KCR Government remained a mute spectator to the devastation that farm sector has suffered during the last three-and-a-half years.
“Through this ‘Armoor Declaration’, we assure all the farmers of Telangana that the day when Congress party come will come to power in 2019, will be the last day of your sufferings. All sections, especially farmers had dreamt of a better life after Telangana formation. But KCR has shattered all your dreams. He cheated everyone in the name of ‘Bangaru Telangana’ and created ‘Bangaru Kutambam’. For TRS Govt, now Telangana is all about KCR, his son, daughter, nephew and other relatives.
Uttam Kumar Reddy also promised that the next Congress Government would ensure that Goods & Services Tax (GST) is not applied to agriculture or allied sectors so as to increase the profitability for farmers. He also assured that the Nizam Sugar Factory will be revived by involving public, private or cooperative sector.
The meeting was also addressed by former Assembly Speaker K.R. Suresh Reddy, Leader of Opposition in Council Shabbir Ali, MLA T. Jeevan Reddy, MLC Akula Lalitha, AICC Secretary Madhu Yaskhi Goud, TPCC Kisan Cell chairman Kodanda Reddy, ex-minister Santosh Reddy, Nizamabad DCC President Taher Bin Hamdan and other leaders. (NSS)