Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to stop shedding crocodile tears on the farming community of Telangana and sought to know why State president of the party Bandi Sanjay had gone into hiding on the issue of Rabi paddy procurement after announcing that he would take the responsibility.
Responding to a letter addressed to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao by Mr. Sanjay on Thursday, the Minister demanded that Mr. Sanjay rub his nose before the Bhagyalaxmi temple for running away after provoking the farming community on the Rabi paddy issue.
On the issue of investment support to farm sector, he said there is no comparison whatsoever between Rythu Bandhu and PM-Kisan scheme as the Centre is spending ₹580 crore on the scheme for one of the three instalments, while Telangana is giving about ₹7,500 crore per crop season for two seasons a year. Further, the State government is spending another ₹1,500 crore a year on Rythu Bima scheme, he explained and suggested Mr. Sanjay to get the details from his assistants if he is not aware of them.
Besides, the Telangana government is the only State in the country to provide 24×7 free power supply to agricultural pump-sets and is also giving water under projects without collecting any cess. He asked Mr. Sanjay to get schemes like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima, 24×7 free power and free water for irrigation across the country if the party has guts and genuine concern towards the farming community.
Mr. Niranjan Reddy also criticised Mr. Sanjay for patting the Centre for marginal increase announced by it on the minimum support price (MSP) for crops, which has already been termed as “too little” by the farmers’ organisations and “far away” from the Swaminathan Commission recommendation of cost plus 50%.
“The MSP announced by the Centre is remunerative only for sunflower and for all other crops, including paddy, it is much below the cost of cultivation,” the Minister said.
Stating that BJP has the history of working against farmers by bringing three black farm laws only to apologise and withdraw them after 16-month long agitations by farmers, Mr. Niranjan Reddy sought to know why ‘Fasal Bima’ scheme is not being implemented in the Prime Minister’s native State of Gujarat, if the scheme is so useful as is being claimed by Mr. Sanjay.