The all-party meeting which was intended to spell out certain benefits to the distressed farmers ended in a failure on Thursday.
Dissatisfied with the replies that the government gave over farmers' issues, Telugu Desam Party, the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) boycotted the all-party meeting which was called by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy at the Secretariat on Thursday.
Following the TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu's indefinite fast unto death which entered seventh day today, the Chief Minister has convened a meeting to discuss the farmers' issue and to reconsider the 'package' earlier announced with the leaders of all the political parties.
Instead the government expected the TDP leaders to persuade Mr Naidu to first call off his stir. But the TDP leaders were of the opinion that the meeting was initially called after they met the Chief Minister on Wednesday and explained the need to discuss the issue in the all-party meeting.
However the Chief Minister neglected the entire issue, said TDP leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, who was accompanied by Nagam Janardhan Reddy, B Gopalkrishna and M Narasimaha.
Finding the Chief Minister adamant and not coming round to reason to reconsider the package issue the opposition leaders as a mark of protest left the meeting half way through.
As the meeting progressed, the Ministers are understood to have ignored the issue stating that what the government announced was sufficient.
The government side, headed by the Chief Minister jumped over the real issue to reconsider enhancement of the package in view of the hunger strike of Mr Naidu.
The Chief Minister had no mind to discuss the issue at all, instead he resorted to sidetrack the opposition's demands. At a public meeting in Jadcherla, Mahabubnagar district the Chief Minister spoke heckling the TDP and its struggle for the farmers, pointed out Y Ramakrishnudu.
Instead of speaking in terms of resolving the farmers' problems, "the Chief Minister is playing jokes with us," Mr Ramakrishnudu told the media persons. The oft repeated government claim that they were pro-farmer and that their government was farmer friendly came in for severe criticism during the media meeting today.
The TDP leaders were of the opinion that soon after any natural disaster the government would announce immediate relief to the farmers. In the second stage survey is conducted and in the third stage the loss is assessed and the grant is released to the farmers. “Nothing of this happened. So far there has been no enumeration of the damage to the infrastructure or loss incurred,” said Mr Ramakrishnudu.
CPI State Secretary Narayana speaking to the press expressed his ire against the government for jumping the actual issue when the opposition was so serious about it. When asked to announce a package on the lines the relief was given to the farmers in Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister rejected it saying there was no change in the package as announced earlier.
In view of the opposition leader Mr Naidu's hunger strike for supporting the increase in the package to farmers', the Chief Minister's reply was not in good light and not reasonable, said Mr Narayana.
Addressing the press CPM leader BV Raghavulu, who pleaded the government for enhancing the relief per acre from Rs 6000 to at least Rs 8000 was rejected by the Chief Minister who said that what the government had offered was sufficient.
“The government version on the package and farmers' issue was not satisfactory. There was no relevance to what the opposition demanded and what the government replied. Therefore the opposition parties staged a walk-out midway the meeting,” Mr Raghavulu said.
Finding the opposition leaders not satisfied with the replies and as they were about to walk out the Chief Minister intervened and clarified to sum up the whole issue again but the leaders from three parties ignored his call and left the meeting, he added.