Hyderabad: TRS Parliament members on Friday came down heavily against the statement made by Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal in the Rajya Sabha on paddy procurement from Telangana State. They said the BJP State leaders claimed that the Centre will purchase every grain of paddy from Telangana for Yasangi (Rabi) season, but Piyush Goyal had categorically stated that the Centre would not procure any parboiled rice from Telangana which exposed the doublespeak of the BJP.
Speaking to mediapersons at Telangana Bhavan in Delhi, TRS Parliamentary Party leader K Keshava Rao said the Union Minister had placed on record that the Centre would consider purchasing as much or even more than last year’s 94.54 lakh tonnes rice in raw rice form. “But the Centre had failed to give us clarity on the quantity of paddy to be cultivated during Yasangi 2021-22 season. We are only seeking clarity considering the heavy rains damaging the ready-to-harvest crop. Farmers from Odisha too are facing similar sitution, but the Union government is being anti-farmer and refusing to respond,” he said.
TRS Lok Sabha floor leader Nama Nageshwara Rao said the TRS MPs were staging demonstration inside both the Houses of the Parliament for the last five days. Even after the Parliament members from other parties demanded, the Union Minister gave us a vague reply. He accused the Centre of gambling with the lives of farmers in Telangana without allocating necessary rakes for transporting paddy, space in godowns of Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other infrastructure support.
“The Yasangi crop would mostly yield parboiled rice. While the Union government in Delhi is stating that it would not procure parboiled rice, the BJP State leaders are making contradictory statements in Telangana. This appears to be a conspiracy to trouble the State government at the cost of farmers’ lives and their financial condition. If the BJP refuses to budge, people of Telangana will teach them a lesson,” he added. He feared that the BJP government was conspiring to sell the FCI as well.
Chevella MP G Ranjith Reddy ridiculed Piyush Goyal for attributing aspersions to the Telangana government over paddy procurement and accusing it of politicising the issue.
“The State government was forced to give an undertaking that no parboiled rice will be supplied to FCI from next Yasangi season. Let us both agree to these terms. Otherwise, the Union Ministers are advising the State not to supply parboiled rice, while the BJP State leaders are making contradictory statements asking farmers to cultivate paddy and promising that they would convince Prime Minister Narendra Modi to purchase parboiled rice,” he said.
He stated that Telangana was one of the very few States which was providing Custom Milled Rice (CMR) to FCI which was otherwise procuring paddy directly from several other States. “Though we have informed the FCI authorities that the State has milling capacity of only 7-8 lakh tonnes, they had advised us to go ahead with the milling. Accordingly, the paddy is being supplied,” he said, adding that the Union Minister was claiming that the procurement targets could be ascertained only after the Yasangi crop harvesting begins. MP Kotha Prabhakar Reddy and others also spoke.
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