Congress asks TS Govt to expedite paddy procurement

· Rachabanda programme in Rajampet gets massive response
· KCR misusing Telangana’s exchequer for personal publicity: Shabbir

Hyderabad/Kamareddy, May 28: Stating that not even 50% of nearly 56 Lakh MTs of harvested paddy was procured by the Telangana Government, former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir urged Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to convene a meeting with the senior officials to expedite the procurement process.

He was addressing a meeting in Rajampet of Kamareddy district as part of the Rythu Rachabanda programme on Saturday. The programme was organised to enlighten the farmers about the Warangal Declaration unveiled by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on May 6 promising a crop loan waiver of Rs. 2 lakh, financial assistance of Rs. 15,000 per acre for small, marginal and tenant farmers and other assurances.

Shabbir Ali said that when the Chief Minister held a review meeting on paddy procurement about 10 days ago, only 20 out of 56 lakh MTs of paddy were procured. In the last 10 days, not even 10 Lakh MTs of paddy were procured. He said thousands of farmers are waiting at their ‘khallas’ (farmyards) with their lakhs of tonnes of paddy for procurement. The local administration did not arrange transport or other logistics to lift the harvested paddy from the farmyards and shift them to the market, he said.

The Congress leader alleged that the TRS Govt was deliberately delaying the procurement to force the farmers to sell their paddy to private millers at prices lower than the Minimum Support Prices. With less than a week left for the arrival of monsoon, lakhs of farmers are worried their stocks would get damaged due to pre-monsoon rains. Therefore, by delaying the procurement, the TRS Govt was facilitating the panic selling of paddy to benefit the private millers. He demanded that the entire paddy should be procured without wasting a single day. He advised the farmers to take their stocks to the District Collectorates if the authorities fail to procure the entire paddy in the next two days.

Shabbir Ali accused CM KCR of neglecting the welfare of Telangana farmers. He alleged that KCR’s visit to Chandigarh to pay compensation to the families of farmers who died during the agitation against farm laws was a pure political drama. “KCR did not even console even one of the families of over 8,400 farmers who committed suicide since 2014. But to pursue his ambition of entering national politics, he misused the money from Telangana’s exchequer for his visits to Delhi, Chandigarh, Bengaluru and other places. By giving compensation to the families of Punjab and Haryana, he acted as per the Telugu proverb ‘atta sommu, alludu danam’ (Son-in-law donating mother-in-law’s property). KCR has no right to utilise the hard-earned money of Telangana’s taxpayers for his publicity,” he said.

The Congress leader said that the nexus between TRS and BJP got exposed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Hyderabad two days ago, focussed only on promoting BJP while CM KCR went to Bengaluru to skip meeting PM Modi. On the same day, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin made serious attempts to extract maximum benefits for Tamil Nadu from the visit of the Prime Minister. But CM KCR avoided Modi as he wanted the Prime Minister to boost the morale of the BJP cadre. Both TRS and BJP are working in tandem to defeat the Congress party in the next elections, he alleged.

“With over 44 lakh members across the State, the Congress party has regained its strength in Telangana. Our cadre is visiting all households along with a copy of the Warangal Declaration promising a better future for farmers and all others associated with the agriculture sector. The success of the Warangal meeting, followed by a huge response to the Warangal declaration during the ongoing Rachabanda programme, has sent shockwaves among TRS and BJP. Therefore, now both the parties are jointly making efforts to divert people’s attention,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said that the Congress party’s Rachabanda programme has been conducted in almost all the villages of the Kamareddy district. He said the remaining villages would also be covered in the next few days.

The meeting was also addressed by Yellareddy constituency Coordinator Vaddepally Subhash Reddy, Kamareddy DCC President Kailasa Srinivas Rao and other senior leaders.

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