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TelanganaTRS’ fight yields results

TRS’ fight yields results

Published: 20th Nov 2021 12:51 am

Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s firm stand to fight it out with the BJP-led Central government’s anti-farmer policies appears to have had its impact, forcing the latter to withdraw the contentious farm laws. While the farmers’ protests in north India had a major impact on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on Friday, the TRS’ decision to take up the issue and its agitation on paddy procurement sure acted as a catalyst to the decision of repealing the three farm laws.

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The TRS with its considerable strength in the Parliament raised its voice against the farm Bills soon after they were introduced. The TRS president and Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao had vociferously opposed them, terming them as anti-farmer. The TRS MPs staged protests inside and outside the Parliament, opposing the farm laws. Further, the TRS was the only ruling party from the southern States to have joined the Bharat Bandh called by the farmers’ unions and called for a shutdown of entire Telangana for 24 hours.

The TRS questioned as to how a farmer with a landholding of one acre or two could travel to far off places just to get a better price. Telangana has nearly 90 per cent of its farmers with less than three acres of land, mostly cultivating crops to meet local needs. They also strongly opposed the attempt to deny Mandi tax or tax imposed by the Agriculture Produce Market Committees which would otherwise be unable to provide necessary infrastructure to farmers who seek to sell their produce locally.

However, the State BJP unit leaders strongly criticised the TRS especially the Chief Minister for raising a voice in favour of farmers. Union Minister G Kishan Reddy, BJP State president and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay and other leaders accused the TRS government of misleading farmers. Sanjay and Nizamabad MP D Arvind had even accused the Chief Minister as well as the State Ministers of being anti-farmer and anti-national, for opposing the farm laws.

Union Minister Kishan Reddy had declared that the agricultural laws were in favour of farmers and were meant to undo the injustice done by the past governments for nearly six decades. He went on record stating that the farm laws would give more flexibility to farmers. Bandi Sanjay went a step further. He termed those opposing the agricultural laws as “fools who could not understand the good intention behind the laws to help the farmers community. He had also warned that if the TRS did not stop such politics, the BJP would launch an attack on Pragathi Bhavan itelf.

Post the announcement of repealing the farm laws by the Prime Minister, none of the BJP leaders, except its legislator T Raja Singh reacted. Raja Singh, however, maintained that the farmers’ protests in Delhi were indeed orchestrated by some brokers. Meanwhile, political observers point out that Modi’s apology and repeal announcement were made with an eye on the forthcoming elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

If this was so, Chandrashekhar Rao’s call for State-wide protests to oppose the farm laws was the first sign of major opposition from South India. As the Chief Minister himself participated in the protest, the anti-farmer policies by the Centre made it to the headlines.

“The BJP which claimed that there was no major opposition to farm laws from south India, was in the dock. It appears that Chandrashekhar Rao’s participation in the protests which were actually meant to question the Centre’s policy on paddy procurement, had also highlighted the growing dissent against the farm laws even in the South, prompting the Centre to rethink,” said a political analyst. He pointed out that the BJP’s national executive meeting held in Delhi earlier this month, also maintained that the Union government was open to talks with farmers, but there was no question of withdrawing the farm laws.

Though the TRS leadership was elated over the repeal of farm laws, it has termed that the victory belongs to the farmers. But the party leadership is resolved to continue its fight against the Centre’s anti-farmer policies and demand for a paddy procurement policy.

Also read:

Telangana BJP leaders’ dual standards on farm laws exposed

It’s farmers’ victory, says TRS

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