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Jagan's fast demoralising farmers

Mon 16th May 2011 07:27 AM
Jagan's fast demoralising farmers
Jagan's fast demoralising farmers

Minister for Civil Supplies Duddilla Sridhar Babu on Monday questioned whether YSR Congress Party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy has any knowledge about the problems faced by farmers and accused him of demoralising the tillers.

Careful not to take Mr Jaganmohan Reddy’s name, Mr Sridhar Babu said that “Under the cover of farmers or farmers’ issues, a new political party was trying to politicize their problems to gain political mileage. But the farmers were keenly watching what was up their sleeves.”

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Talking to media persons at the Secretariat on Monday, the Minister, obviously referring to the Kadapa MLA, further said that “Instead of emboldening the farmers in his hour of need some political parties were demoralizing the ranks of the farmers just because in a democracy one could freely comment.”

He questioned whether the leader of the newly established political party has any idea about the farmers’ problems.

Mr Sridhar Babu asked, “how far is it reasonable to politicize the farmers’ demand of Minimum Support Prices at a time when the state government was making best of efforts to provide remunerative prices for their produce.

Stating that during 2004-2009, the MSP was increased by 75 per cent, he said that the state government’s endeavour was to increase it by Another Rs 200.

The opposition’s attempt was branded as a mud-slinging exercise and the Minister clarified that the N Kiran Kumar Reddy government would utilize all resources to provide MSP to the last grain that the farmer had produced.

He sought cooperation from all concerned as to take all measures that would benefit the farmers.

Mr Sridhar Babu also informed that the Union Minister of Food and Civil Supplies KV Thomas and Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju had also assured to help promote the farmers’ interests so far as the MSP is concerned.

The Rabi output was bumper and the Centre’s permission was being sought by the Chief Minister to effect exports of the grains, the Minister said. As part of this endeavour, the inter-state grain movement in May/June was also under study and over 300 railway rakes were indented, he informed.

Besides this, efforts were also on to increase the Godown space to accommodate the Rabi production, Mr Sridhar Babu disclosed.

“The Chief Minister has asked for creating capacity for 25 lakh more metric tons.  The paddy production during Rabi season for 2010-2011 was 110 lakh metric tons,” the Minister revealed. During his tour in West Godavari recently, a woman informed that this time their production was 40 to 50 bags, the Minister further added.

The state government has formulated certain systems for better output providing subsidies, better MSP, crop loans at less interest, providing fertilizers and pesticides among others, Mr Sridhar Babu claimed.

All these steps facilitated the government to stay as farmer friendly, he said, adding, “Further we are confident that we will impress upon the Centre to increase the MSP for the farmers.”

The Minister asked the rationale behind the new party’s demonstration in Guntur and added that it was improper to push the farmers into troubles without providing any materialistic gains. “We will bring pressure on central government to concede to the demands of the farmers,” Mr Sridhar Babu said.