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House stalled again, this time over farmers' issues

Tue 14th Dec 2010 08:42 AM
House stalled again, this time over farmers' issues
House stalled again, this time over farmers' issues

The Telugu Desam Party and the Praja Rajyam Party Members stalled the Assembly business demanding a discussion on the plight of farmers forcing adjournment of the house for 15 minutes as soon as it began on Tuesday.

The TDP Members said that the government was shying away from a discussion on the subject. The PRP members too joined the issue.

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The TDP Members stormed the Speaker's podium condemning the arrest of their party president N Chandrababu Naidu and MLAs on Monday, who were fighting for farmers.

Speaking on the farmers' plight, Mr Naidu said that farmers were reeling under crop losses with the paddy soaked in rain water due to non-stop rains for five days and submergence of crops under water. He demanded that the crop losses in the flood-hit districts be declared as National Calamity.

The TDP chief demanded that the government make arrangements to buy rice and paddy and also the discoloured rice from the hapless farmers. Stating that Kerala and Karnataka had paid Rs 200 per quintal as bonus to the farmers, Mr Naidu demanded that the farmers in Andhra Pradesh also get the same treatment. 

Even the tenant farmers deserved to be paid the compensation, he demanded. The TDP chief also demanded that the farmers should get the cover of crop insurance without fixing a limit.

As per government version, 10.75 lakh hectares crop was destroyed and the crop was attacked by white disease which the government failed to control, Mr Naidu pointed out. Unless the Chief Minister was serious, the farmers would not get justice, he lamented.

At one stage, the TDP chief lost his cool and went in high pitch while accusing the Treasury benches. He also sought compensation for farmers of chill, tobacco, turmeric etc.

When a Member from the Treasury benches compared Mr Naidu's speech to a running commentary, the former chief minister reacted against the remark, saying that it was not in good light.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy rose to say that Mr Naidu better learn to respect the Ministers and fellow Members. Taking exception to KKR’s ‘admonishment’, Mr Naidu retorted by wondering if he had to learn from the Chief Minister.

Later, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Duddilla Sridhar Babu's sought to placate the angry former chief minister, saying that Mr Naidu was a senior member. A former chief minister could guide the house over farmers' plight, Mr Sridhar Babu said. He also sought withdrawal of 'words' from Mr Naidu. The Chief Minister endorsed Mr Sridhar Babu’s words.

Later, Mr Naidu replied that he was not deviating from the subject. If he were to do so, he would have spoken much on many issues that were not palatable to the Treasury benches, he said.

PRP chief K Chiranjeevi stated that the machinery and the government was in a helpless situation and desired that the government buy discoloured rice from the farmers and ensure that they were paid Rs 4500 per acre.

Earlier in the day, Mr Naidu, accompanied by his MLAs and those from Left parties reached the Assembly premises on Padayatra from Gosha Mahal police station where they were held since last evening. 

After the session was adjourned to meet again in the evening, MLA from Bandar, Vijayawada  Devineni Nehru announced that Mr Naidu would launch a hunger strike from December 17 if the state government further neglected the farmers, weavers and other artisans who faced the fury of the nature suffered losses.