Staff Reporter

NIZAMABAD: With AP Seeds Development Corporation not budging to the farmers’ demand for purchase of red jowar at Rs. 1,540 a quintal, talks between the all-party committee and the corporation failed on Tuesday. The bandh called for by the all-party committee in Armoor sub-division was peaceful and total. Officials led by APSDC Managing Director Arif Mohammad made it clear that they could not afford to pay more than Rs.1,200 a quintal and they came forward to purchase the red jowar only out of “sympathy” for the farmers. Moreover, the red jowar was not a notified seed, they reportedly told the farmers’ leaders.

Joint Collector Neetu Prasad, Joint Director (Agriculture) Purushotham Reddy and Revenue Divisional Officer Narsing Rao took part in the talks on behalf of the government, while all-party leaders V. Prabhakar, Narsimhulu Naidu, M. Chandra Mohan, Jeevan Reddy, Devaram and P. Ganga Reddy represented the farmers.

The all-party leaders said they demanded Rs.1,540 a quintal and wanted the government to arrange the differential amount even by putting Godavari Seed Company owner Mahipal Reddy’s properties for auction as “he cheated the farmers after entering into an agreement with them for the purchase of the red jowar at Rs.15 a kg.”

The situation, meanwhile, at Armoor was tense with hundreds of farmers thronging the venue of talks and also the hunger strike camp of the all-party leaders. They resolved to continue their agitation until the government meted out justice.

The indefinite strike entered the fifth day on Tuesday. The condition of three leaders, who were participating in the hunger strike, deteriorated.

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