BJP national executive committee member and former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has demanded that the Government earmark Rs.1,000 crore fund for the purpose of purchasing all paddy available with the farmers by offering minimum support price of Rs.1,030 per quintal.

Only such a step would solve the problems of farmers and prevent them from falling into a debt trap, he added. “As of now only 10 per cent of paddy was purchased from the farmers at the MSP. Middlemen and rice millers are cornering the benefits with regard to the remaining 90 per cent stock. It is the duty of both State and Central governments to come to the farmers' rescue,” said Mr. Dattatreya.

He came here as part of a State-wide party programme to visit farmers to understand the ground reality on paddy purchases from farmers.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Mr. Dattatreya blamed the Government for the woes of farmers. The administration was not in a position to procure gunny bags on the ground that there was no money for the purpose, he alleged.

While there was a need for buying 5.65 crore gunny bags, the Government had purchased only 1.5 crore bags, he said. Mr. Dattatreya said the Kiran Kumar Reddy Government would not last long and it would collapse on its own because of lack of harmony among the Ministers and party cadres.