Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana refutes charges, says the government has taken several measures for the welfare of farmers

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy asserted in the Assembly on Thursday that there would be no compromise with regard to awarding tenders for the Polavaram project.

Intervening after TDP member T. Nageswara Rao took a dig at him saying he should not bow down to anybody on the Polavaram tenders issue, Mr. Reddy said he had bowed down only for the good of the State.

He said more than Rs.600 crore was saved after the lowest tender was accepted. “I am not compromising especially on financial matters,” he added. Participating in the discussion on the motion of thanks on the Governor’s address, Mr. Rao accused the government of awarding the project to ‘ineligible contractors’ and issuing the notification at midnight. Lashing out at the government’s inept handling of various sectors, including agriculture, power and irrigation, he termed it as “anti-farmer”. He sought to know why 22,000 farmers had committed suicide and there was decline in rice production if the government was pro-farmers.

Refuting the charges, Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana said the government had taken several measures for the welfare of farmers. The TDP member also taunted the Chief Minister saying there were three types of Ministers in his Cabinet—the first category belonged to those in jail. There were others who were waiting near the wall of the jail and the third type who were ready to go to jail. Earlier, initiating the debate, Mr. Kanna Babu (Congress) said the developmental initiatives of the government would change the State. He described as historic the legislation on SC/ ST sub-plans and said the recently held cooperative polls proved that the government was pro-farmer.

E. Anil Kumar (Congress) criticised the no-trust motion tabled by two parties last week and said Andhra Pradesh would be a role model because of the pro-poor and pro-farmer initiatives taken by the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.