Opposition members stage walkout in Assembly over remunerative price
Farmers opting for crops for which there is no MSP Agriculture production comes down drastically
HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Wednesday castigated the previous Telugu Desam Government for not acknowledging the spate of farmers' suicides that led to problems in payment of ex-gratia to their kin.
Intervening during a five- hour long acrimonious debate on the issue of remunerative price to farmers in the Assembly, Dr. Reddy said the negligence of the previous regime was so grave that it left no evidence to enable processing of the ex-gratia claims.
Dissatisfied with the Government's response, the entire Opposition barring MIM staged a walkout. The Opposition felt the Government had let down the farmers badly when they required its support the most.
The issue came up during Question Hour and the heated debate continued for over five hours with the result the House could not take up the listed business. Dr. Reddy said his Government had initiated several corrective measures to rejuvenate the farm sector that was in deep crisis. It had been ensuring that farmers secured MSP for all eligible crops. But it was unfortunate that farmers were opting for certain commercial crops for which there was no MSP.
He said Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu, who termed agriculture as a "wasteful exercise", was now trying to project himself as champion of farmers. But the farmers were not in a mood to believe the TDP anymore.
Earlier, Mr. Naidu mounted a trenchant attack on the Government for its "failure" to come to the rescue of cotton, turmeric and chilli farmers. They were forced to resort to distress sale as they could not get remunerative price. Though the Government was claiming to have initiated various farmer-friendly measures over the last three years, the agriculture production as well as productivity had come down steeply.
CPI and CPI (M) floor leaders -- Ch. Venkat Reddy and N. Narsimhaiah -- criticised the Government for not implementing the recommendations made by Jayati Ghosh Commission effectively. TRS floor leader G. Vijayarama Rao blamed the successive Governments for ignoring the interests of Telangana farmers.