Hyderabad: Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy on Thursday demanded BJP State president Bandi Sanjay to exert pressure on the Centre to procure the entire paddy crop produced in the State and prove their commitment to farmers’ welfare in Telangana State. “If the BJP leaders succeed and make the Centre issue orders by 5 pm today, I will resign as Minister. On the contrary, if they fail, both Sanjay and Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy should resign,” Niranjan Reddy said, throwing a challenge at the BJP leadership.
Addressing media persons at his camp office, the Minister accused the Central government of adopting double standards when it comes to farmers’ welfare. “The BJP government’s policies and practices are affecting farmers’ lives. Four months prior to the commencement of Vanakalam season, the State government began appealing to the Centre to procure the paddy produced in Telangana. Even after Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao personally approached the Central government, there has been no announcement in this regard,” Niranjan Reddy said.
The Minister, sharing Central government’s orders that said no parboiled rice should be delivered by the Telangana government to the Food Corporation of India in future, said paddy was cultivated in 63 lakh acres across the State and this was reported to the Centre well in advance. In reply, Central government officials said they would conduct a field survey in the State and it has been over three months now, but they have not turned up, he said, adding that even today, State officials were pursuing the matter in New Delhi.
He said when the State government wanted the Centre to furnish its annual indent (regarding procurement), there was no response from it. “For Vanakalam season, the State had appealed to the Centre to procure 1.30 crore metric tonnes of paddy but it agreed to purchase only 59 lakh metric tonnes,” Niranjan Reddy said.
He said Telangana was the only State in the country which set up procurement centres in every village in all the districts. “Farmers do not have to worry. The State government will procure every grain produced during the Vanakalam season and procurement has already commenced,” the Minister assured.
On BJP State president Bandi Sanjay’s Deeksha, he said the saffron party was stopping to cheap politics. “If they are so worried about farmers’ welfare, let them conduct a deeksha till Centre issues orders on procuring the entire paddy produced in Telangana” Niranjan Reddy said.
He said in view of Huzarabad by-poll on October 30, the BJP was indulging in cheap politics and appealed to the farming community to take note of the party’s double standards. “Irrespective of the saffron party’s gimmicks, it is set to lose Huzarabad elections,” the Minister said.
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