Hyderabad: Expressing solidarity with the Punjab and Haryana farmers who are organising ‘Delhi Chalo’ march against the Centre’s new farm laws, Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy deplored the way the Centre was using brute power to silence dissent.
In a statement here on Saturday, Niranjan Reddy said that the Narendra Modi government has been neglecting the farming sectors since he assumed office and has formulated laws that broke the back of the farmers. He said that farmers from the northern States of Punjab and Haryana have been opposing the new electricity bill that proposes an end to power subsidies.
He also said that the farmers are also demanding the withdrawal of the three farm-related Acts that encourage corporates, have no mention of a Minimum Support Price (MSP) and scrapped Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC).
“The indifference shown by the Narendra Modi’s government towards farmers of Tamilnadu when they protested near Jantar Mantar later cost the BJP and its ally AIADMK on the very next Parliament elections,” Niranjan noted.
He further said similar highhanded behaviour of BJP against farmers in Madhya Pradesh in 2017, has affected BJP in 2018 elections in that State. “People of the country have not forgotten the plight of the farmers that have participated in the “Kisan Long March” in Maharashtra. Similarly the ongoing protests of the farmers will have its impact on this government,” he said.
The Minister questioned the BJP whether any State ruled by the party formulated and implemented schemes like Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bima. “The Centre must release a white paper on the number of farmers that have committed suicides in all the States of India and the financial help that the Centre has declared for their kin,” he asked.
He said that since the inception of Telangana the State has implemented loan waiver, 24-hour free power, modernisation of market yards, and augmentation of godown capacity, improved irrigation facilities and mission Kakatiya for the improvement of minor irrigation tanks in the State. He added that Telangana is the only State in the country that has procured all the grain with the farmers at a cost of Rs 30,000 crore to save them from the Covid-19 induced lockdown conditions.
Niranjan Reddy said that the Telangana government has paid Rs 6 lakh to the kin of each farmer that committed suicide and saw to it that Rs 5 lakh is paid to the kin of the farmer under the Rytu Bima scheme. “So far Rs 1977.05 crore has been paid to the families of 39,541 farmers under the scheme,” he said. If the Narendra Modi government has brought the new laws to benefit the farmers of the country why has it not implemented recommendations of the Swaminathan committee or the Niti Aayog.
The Minister said that the Center which could waive crores of rupees of loans taken by big corporate houses hesitates to the same to benefit the poor farmers. “The Centre seems to be determined to weaken the farming community and hand over the sector in the platter to the corporates,” he said.
He criticised the Prime Minister for not sparing an hour to meet the agitating farmers to know their point of view.
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