Hyderabad: TRS MLC and former Nizamabad MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha on Wednesday attacked sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Nizamabad Lok Sabha member of Parliament (MP) Arvind Dharmapuri on Wednesday for not setting up a turmeric board for farmers as promised. She stated that Arvind had failed to persuade the union government to establish it the district.
Kavitha said that she didn’t speak on the subject for the last three years because she wanted to respect the mandate delivered by the people of Nizamabad, to also give the current MP “time” to do something regarding his promises to farmers from the district. She also cited an RTI reply on the budget allocated with respect to turmeric-producing farmers.
“Mr Arvind, in the last three years could only get our farmers an allocation of Rs 1.92 crore for close to 1 lakh turmeric producing farmers. If you divide it between all of them, it boils down to less than Rs 250. All he did was deceive farmers by distributing a bond paper,” she remarked.
For the year 2020-21, a sum of Rs 1,18,71,000 was allocated out of which Rs 75 lakhs was assistance towards boilers and Rs 43.71 lakhs is for the assistance towards turmeric polishers, said a RIght to Information (RIT) reply that Kavitha cited to back up her claims.
For the year 2021-22, a total of Rs 74.81 lakhs was allocated. Out of that, Rs 39.73 lakhs went towards assistance for boilers, Rs 6.58 lakhs for turmeric polishers, Rs 15 lakhs as assistance towards Silpaulin sheets, Rs 10 lakhs towards assistance for Spices Producers group in the identified cluster and Rs 3.50 lakhs for setting up basic quality testing equipment, the RTI reply stated.
Arvind had promised the farming community in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He said that if elected as an MP, he would get the turmeric board sanctioned to the district and that he would get proper minimum support prices fixed for both turmeric and red jowar.
The BJP MP even promised that If he failed to keep both commitments, he would resign as a member of Parliament and join the farmers’ and people’s movement.
In March 2019, Arvind made the vow in writing and even signed it on a non-judicial (bond) stamp paper. In the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency, his team printed copies of the promise and distributed them in turmeric-growing areas.
The regional centre of the spices board was set up by the union government on February 14, 2020, but this did not satisfy the farming community, who had stated that nothing less than a full-fledged board is acceptable to them and the rallying cry for it continued.
Kavitha said that the office of the regional spice board office has nothing but a few Nilkamal chairs and two people managing it. According to the RTI reply, the office conducted eight meetings in the period of 2020-21 via video conferences.
“Time has come now for Mr. Arvind to deliver on his bond paper promise. He should go around on his knees in Delhi around the offices of his masters if he really has the interest to serve the people of Telangana,” Kavitha remarked.
‘Rahul Gandhi never spoke about Telangana in Parliament’
On Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Telangana in the next two days, Kavitha remarked that the ‘Raitu Sangarshana Sabha’ in Warangal at which the Congress MP will speak is more of a ‘Rahul Sangarshana (struggle) Sabha’. “Rahul Gandhi hasn’t spoken about Telangana even once in the Parliament. Now what will he speak at Warangal,” she asked.