Hyderabad: Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy on Monday found fault with Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao for announcing ex gratia to farmers who died in agitations in Delhi, while ignoring deaths of farmers in Telangana. As a Union Minister, he promised that the Central government would procure ‘raw rice’ from the State as per the agreement signed, but did not elaborate on the quantity of raw rice to be procured.
Speaking to mediapersons at the BJP State office here, Kishan Reddy said while none were objecting to the Chief Minister’s decision to provide ex gratia to the kin of farmers, who died during agitations in Delhi, the families of farmers who died in Telangana State for the last seven years were being ignored. He demanded to know how many Telangana martyrs’ families or the families of unemployed youth who committed suicide in Telangana were provided with ex gratia.
The Union Tourism Minister said the Chief Minister was making contradictory statements on paddy procurement and causing confusion among people as well as farmers. He said Chandrashekhar Rao as well as the Ministers had been claiming that the State government was procuring paddy crop for the last seven years, but were now asking whether the Central government was purchasing paddy for the first time as the previous governments too purchased paddy.
“People have now come to know that what the TRS leaders were claiming about paddy procurement was wrong. The Central government is providing subsidy against paddy produced in the State,” he claimed. He alleged that the Chief Minister was blaming the Centre only to divert the public attention from the TRS party’s defeat in the recent Huzurabad bypoll.
Without acknowledging the fact that the Union government insisted that the State government give an undertaking not to supply parboiled rice in future in order to purchase pending stocks of last Yasangi, he blamed the State government for not giving the undertaking. However, he added that the Union government never refused to purchase rice other than parboiled rice. He stated that the TRS leaders were unnecessarily creating an issue out of nothing, though the Centre had brought to their notice about its unwillingness to purchase parboiled rice for the last five to six years.
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