Hyderabad: Turmeric farmers dumped their produce in front of BJP MP Dharmapuri Arvind’s residence in Nizamabad as a mark of protest for failing to achieve the Turmeric Board for the district.
Arvind had promised the farming community in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections 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.
“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 us, it boils down to less than Rs 200. All he did was deceive farmers by distributing a bond paper,” said the protesting farmers.
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 (RTI) 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.
Holding the RTI, the farmers asked the BJP and Nizamabad MP the reason for depriving the farmers and people of Nizamabad of their basic dues. They further accused the MP of making tall claims of Rs 100 crore allocation, while every farmer made only Rs 200 of the turmeric board under his regime.