Hyderabad: Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy on Thursday ordered a probe by the Vigilance Department into reports in a section of the media that shortage of urea in the State was a result of an organized racket by some seeking to make profits from the situation.
The Minister instructed Principal Secretary of the Agriculture Department to initiate a probe into alleged racket reported in a section of the media. Niranjan Reddy said the government was taking great pains to ensure supplies of the fertilizer in the State and was constantly monitoring the situation. Despite this, there are reports of diversion of the fertilizer in the State. Stringent action will be taken against anyone found involved in the racket, he said.
BJP slams government
Meanwhile, reacting on the issue, BJP State president K Laxman, in a statement, said: “The reports and the orders by the Minister raise the prospects of the State Government deliberately turning a blind eye to urea diversions and stockpiling by some which led to artificial shortages that put farmers into great trouble.”
He also said the situation came to light following instructions from the Centre to probe reasons for urea shortages and it was unfortunate that the State chose to ignore this issue so far. “Nowhere else in the country is there a shortage of urea except in Telangana,” Laxman said.
He further said the Agriculture Minister had previously dismissed the death of a farmer waiting in a queue to purchase urea calling the death of the farmer, Yellaiah, a coincidence and questioning whether if someone dies waiting in a queue at a cinema theater, should the theater owner be held responsible?”
Laxman said this comment displayed the “lackadaisical attitude” of the State Government in dealing with urea shortage and raises several questions on why it could not prevent the situation from arising in the first place.