Hyderabad: Impressed with the Telangana government’s Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bima schemes apart from the 24-hour free power supply to farmers, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said he would suggest to the governments in other States to explore the possibilities of implementing similar schemes.
“I have checked Telangana government’s schemes. If it is implementing farmer-friendly schemes, why cannot other States follow suit. This is in the larger interest of farmers,” said Rakesh Tikait while speaking to Telangana Today here on Thursday.
“I will rather first suggest the Uttar Pradesh government to explore these possibilities. It will get farmers’ support and win the forthcoming elections convincingly,” he said, adding that separate agitations would be held to press for implementation of these schemes.
Referring to the Central government’s decision not to procure paddy from Telangana, the BKU leader said the Centre targets non-BJP ruled States. It would specifically issue orders, which would make the local people, especially farmers feel that the State government was working against their welfare, he charged.
“As per the Constitution, it is the responsibility of the Centre to procure paddy and all other crops from States. It cannot wash off hands from its responsibilities,” Tikait said.
All this was being done as part of a larger conspiracy to promote contract farming and turn fertile lands into barren tracts across the country. This would benefit corporate companies as they would enter into agreements with farmers for longer periods and eventually make the ryots and their lands non-productive, he said.
Regarding the Centre’s insistence on procuring only raw rice but not parboiled rice, he said it cannot make excuses citing surplus stocks or lack of godowns. “It has to come up with a clear agriculture policy and offer subsidy for cultivation of other crops. Based on the population and food requirements, farmers will cultivate crops and the Centre can procure stocks and supply them across the country,” he said.
Under this initiative, an exclusive agriculture cabinet should be formed involving 18 portfolios, such as railways, science and technology, external affairs, environment and others, he suggested. “In the seven years of BJP rule, land costs in urban areas have escalated and those in rural areas have plummeted due to lack of proper vision and anti-farmer policies,” fumed Tikait.
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