Staff Reporter

TDP chief draws flak for promoting ‘Heritage’ interests

Previous NDA government accused of sapping buffer stocks

State government catering to 1.85-crore families through PDS

ANANTAPUR: Minister for Agriculture N. Raghuveera Reddy has criticised TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu and the Opposition party’s campaign on rising prices. He said that Mr. Naidu and other leaders of the TDP should stop shedding crocodile tears over people’s predicament. He alleged that it was the TDP which had supported the previous NDA government policies like future and forward trading of commodities leading to the present situation.

The Centre and State governments were taking every possible measure to contain the price spiral going to the extent of amending laws dealing with commodities’ trading and stocking, slashing of import duties and imposing restrictions against export of commodities. He alleged that the irresponsibility of the previous NDA government at the Centre and its allies in States was so high that they had drawn commodities even from the buffer stocks, the vital cushioning in food security. In the name of providing work to poor, the previous governments had drawn lakhs of tonnes of rice and wheat under food-for-work programme. No State government in the country was supplying food grains through public distribution system to 1.85-crore families as was being done in Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Reddy claimed.

Issues raised

Admitting that the Opposition party had every right to politicise the price rise issue to gain mileage, the Minister accused Mr. Chandrababu Naidu of ruining the cooperative dairy in Chittoor district to benefit his own Heritage dairy. The Congress government was reviving it now with daily procurement of 2 lakh litres of milk. He dared Mr. Naidu to explain to the people on the prices paid to farmers on procurement of vegetables and commodities for his Heritage Fresh retail marketing network and the prices being offered to the consumers. The Minister also criticised Mr. Naidu on his promise of free gas supply to homes if voted to power and blamed Mr. Naidu for handing over the K-G Basin gas reserves to private companies at the cost of gas-based power stations.