Lok Sabha Election

Nizamabad to be in public eye

When 91 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country will go to polls in the first phase of general elections on April 11, Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana is sure to draw attention from across the nation.

For it is going to the polls with the highest number of candidates – 185. Of them, 178 are farmers, who are fighting the election as independents to get a message across to political parties. They want the ruling party leaders to address the problems being faced by turmeric and red jowar farmers, who are struggling to get remunerative price for their produce.

The farmers have been on an agitation path for the last few months demanding remunerative price for their produce, but to no avail. The issue took a turn for the worse with the turmeric rate falling from ₹10,000 to ₹5,000 a quintal this season. The appeal of the sitting MP and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha that she did her best to raise the issue with the Centre and that they should take their battle to the constituencies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi did not cut ice with the farmers in the fray.

Filing of nominations en masse by aggrieved groups to highlight their issue is not new to Telangana region. A record number of 480 candidates had contested from Nalgonda Lok Sabha seat in 1996 to highlight the acute drinking water crisis.

The consumption of water with high flouride content had left hundreds of people in Nalgonda villages with skeletal deformities due to fluorosis. The issue got the attention that it deserved in the 1996 elections though it is yet to be resolved completely even after two decades. Also, in 2008 Assembly by-elections, 15 farmers, who were displaced by Polepally Special Economic Zone in Jadcherla Assembly constituency of Mahabubnagar district, had fought the election as independents demanding scrapping of the SEZ.

By throwing their hat in the poll arena, former MLC K. Nageshwar says that Nizamabad turmeric and red jowar farmers may not be expecting immediate solution for their problem, but they would succeed in drawing nation’s attention by putting the issue in the public domain.

Thus, a limited objective would be accomplished. Unlike Maharashtra farmers who marched barefoot demanding MSP, Nizamabad turmeric farmers have kept their agitation apolitical and have not mobilised civil society or NGOs for a consistent and sustained movement.

NIZAMABAD Special Correspondent adds: Farmers who are in the fray submitted a memorandum to Joint Chief Election Officer K. Amrapali in Hyderabad on Tuesday appealing to the Election Commission to postpone the election for the constituency and conduct the polling using ballots.

Talking to The Hindu, the farmers’ leader Munipally Sai Reddy said those who are contesting the elections were not aware of their symbols and they had no time to campaign either. He said the polling booths were small and therefore should be set up on bigger premises.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 1:50:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/nizamabad-to-be-in-public-eye/article26715012.ece

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