TDP holds up traffic seekingremunerative price for farmers

Staff Reporter
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Over 100 protesters under the aegis of party farmers' wing burn tobacco bales

In protest mode:Peasants under the aegis of the TDP farmers' wing burning bales of tobacco and holding up traffic at Thuravagunta near Ongole on Tuesday. —Photo: Kommuri Srinivas
In protest mode:Peasants under the aegis of the TDP farmers' wing burning bales of tobacco and holding up traffic at Thuravagunta near Ongole on Tuesday. —Photo: Kommuri Srinivas

As many as 30 senior leaders of the Telugu Desam Party were taken into preventive custody when they blocked vehicular traffic on the arterial Chennai-Kolkata National Highway at Thuravagunta near here on Tuesday evening demanding that remunerative price be paid for farmers' produce.

Those taken into custody included party spokesman Kodela Siva Prasada Rao, Polit Bureau member Sidda Raghava Rao, MLC, State vice-president K. Balarama Krishnamurthy, MLAs — Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, D. Narendra, T. Prabhakar, and K. Narayana Reddy, and CPI(M)-led Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangam district secretary N. Ranga Rao.

Over 100 farmers under the aegis of the Telugu Rythu, the TDP farmers' wing, burnt some bales of tobacco on the highway as a mark of protest against falling price for the produce.

They parked a tractor on the road to obstruct vehicular traffic on the highway up to a distance of several kilometres.

Earlier, addressing the farmers, the TDP leaders asserted that the party would stand by the farmers and resort to more agitations in the coming days till justice was done to the growers. Dr. Siva Prasada Rao said: “It is unfortunate that paddy growers are toying with the idea of going for crop holiday as there is no guarantee of getting back their investment, leave alone making profit.”

Mr. Umamaheswara Rao said: “It is not just paddy growers who are not getting minimum support price.

The situation is no different for those growing cotton, tobacco, Subabul, and other crops due to inept Congress government, which has left farmers at the mercy of traders.”

Mr. Narendra said there was no allocation for market intervention in the over Rs. 1.28 lakh crore State budget. The ruling Congress was whipping up regional passions to divert people's attention from its failures on various fronts, he charged.

Mr. Prabhakar said: “The TDP will be with the farmers and fight for them till they get a remunerative price for their produce. Let us gear up to question the Ministers during the ongoing Rythu Chaitanya Yatra.”

Mr. Krishnamurthy challenged the Ministers to visit the villages to know the plight of the peasants. “We will quit politics if everything is fine.”

Mr. Raghava Rao said procurement of paddy directly by government agencies was very nominal in the State, where as the FCI procured 90 per cent in states such as Punjab and Haryana.

Mr. Narayana Reddy said farmers remained clueless on the ways to tide over the crisis, as both the Union and State governments had put into cold storage the recommendations by agricultural scientist M. .S Swaminathan, noted economist Jayati Ghosh, and other experts to resolve the agrarian crisis.

Call to Rahul

CPI district secretary M. Venkaiah, while welcoming AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi's visit to Noida in support of farmers in Uttar Pradesh, wanted the latter to pay attention to issues concerning farmers in Andhra Pradesh too.

  • Party will stand by farmers till justice is done to them, say leaders

  • Farmers urged to question Ministers during Rythu Chaitanya Yatra

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