Staff Reporter

Warns of agitations if State Government fails to take action

GUNTUR: Telugu Desam Party has alleged that the Department of Agriculture has been showing partisan attitude towards farmers, in extending various benefits from the State Government.

Party leaders led by district president P. Pulla Rao met Joint Director of Agricultural Department, P. Ajith Kumar on Tuesday and apprised him of various irregularities committed by the field staff.

The TDP contended that agricultural officers were being influenced by political pressures and were unable to act against traders selling spurious seed.

Pulla Rao also alleged that officers showed favouritism in selecting ‘adarsha ryots’ and preference was given to Congress sympathisers.

Stating that the farmers labelled as TDP men, were being denied the benefits of various schemes and subsidy announced by the State Government, Rao said that farmers were being forced to make rounds to the M.L.A offices and get letters of endorsement to procure Taiwan sprayers.

On the other hand, the department personnel have been taking a lenient stand on complaints over the sale of distribution of spurious seed, he said.

Demanding immediate action against the sale of spurious seed, the leaders warned that they would resort to agitations, if the department failed to act.

Surprise raids

Rebutting their allegations, the joint director said that the department was taking effective measures to check the sale of spurious seed.

It had constituted a task force team to conduct surprise raids and seized seed worth Rs.60 lakh.

Three criminal cases were booked in this connection, he said. Referring to allegations of insufficient seed, he said that the department has so far distributed 1.45 lakh quintals of Paddy seed as against the requirement of 2.19 lakh quintals.

It had procured six lakh packets of cotton seed, as against the requirement of 5.50 lakh packets. Party leaders T.V. Rao, Party floor leader in GMC, Yaganti Durga Rao and others were present.