The main opposition Congress today staged a walk out from the Telangana Legislative Assembly, alleging that the TRS government did not take adequate measures to help farmers regarding Minimum Support Price (MSP) and other issues. In the animated debate during Question Hour, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy countered the Congress members’ allegation by listing out the steps taken by the government and said they are equally concerned about farmers’ welfare. Congress member T Jeevan Reddy demanded that the state government provide bonus on the MSP offered for paddy growers and other farmers. Some states, including Chhattisgarh, have provided such bonus to farmers, he said. Another Congress member M Bhatti Vikramarka alleged that serious and false cases have been filed against some farmers at Khammam in connection with an attack on agriculture market office. Denying that false cases have been filed, the Agriculture Minister said the cases were filed over the attack. He listed out the quantum of paddy, soyabean, maize crops purchased and the price offered to farmers.
The government has written to the Centre about purchasing cotton which has high moisture content, the minister said. Referring to comments about some states offering a bonus on the MSP, he said every state has its own policy. Telangana gives free power to farmers, he added. The chief minister said his government has succeeded in offering farm loan waiver and in effectively supplying fertilisers and seeds for farmers’ benefit. The government is seized of the matters and is taking all steps to see that cotton farmers get a price better than the MSP, he said. Jeevan Reddy also said the government can help farmers through different measures, including the crop insurance scheme and providing input subsidy. Alleging that the government has adopted a stubborn attitude, he announced a walk out by his party.
Rao said the Congress indulged in politics on the issue. He said the government has appointed agriculture extension officers, among various measures, and that it would leave no stone unturned to help farmers. The government also planned to provide Rs 4,000 per acre for farmers towards farm investment, Rao said.