Assembly takes up farmers' issues at last

Wed 15th Dec 2010 07:57 AM
Assembly takes up farmers' issues at last
Assembly takes up farmers' issues at last

On the fifth day as the Assembly sat on Wednesday for transacting the business there was no consensus on whether there should be a discussion on the farmers' issues or conduct the Question Hour, which was cancelled for the last four days by Deputy Speaker Nadendla Manohar for various reasons.

After disallowing the adjournment motions moved by the opposition Members, the Deputy Speaker sought the opinions of the members. While the Congress, PRP, BJP and Lok Satta Members favoured Question Hour, the TDP and TRS Members insisted on the cancellation of Question Hour and in its place demanded that continuation of discussion on the farmers' issue be taken up.

Speaking on the subject, TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu said that public issues topped their agenda and pointed out that in Karnataka and Orissa, the Congress Members agitated in favour of holding a debate on farmers' problems. "If we do the same here what is wrong?" he questioned.

As the 'issue' hung doubtful and the consensus was proving elusive, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House for 10 minutes.  Mr Manohar discussed the issue with the Opposition Floor Leaders in his Chambers, thereafter it was decided to hold Question Hour on Thursday.

As the Assembly reassembled, it started discussion on the farmers' woes. CPI, CPM, BJP, Lok Satta, PRP members participating in the discussion, pointed various lapses in the system in which the farmers were cornered while the government was a mere spectator.

While the government's net income from agriculture was Rs 1500 crore it did not do as much as the farmers expected.

PRP leader Shobha Nagireddy, while asking the government to support the poor farmers, said that so far the Centre has not given a rupee to the farmers. LSP chief Jayaprakash Narayan said that 60 lakh families, that is, 3.5 crore people were depending on the agriculture and farm labour. They were working as farm labourers and added that unless reforms were brought in their future is bleak.

He found fault with the NREGS Act due to which there was exodus of these labourers from the rural areas.

Defending the Act, Rural Development Minister Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao clarified that the farmers were misled using spurious seeds and fertilisers.

The Lok Satta MLA pointed out that 10 percent of the total income on the grains was going to the treasury. He said it was time the farmers' suicides were halted. 

TRS leader Harish Rao demanded that farmers be provided MSP. BJP leader G Kishen Reddy warned that they would resort to agitation if the farmers' issues were neglected.

CPI’s K Sambasiva Rao and CPM’s Julakanti Ranga Reddy said that during a span of 10 years there were two lakh farmers' suicides. Independent Member S Satyanarayana listed out the ill effects of the system due to which the farmers were suffering.