Opposition slams government over fake seeds

Opposition  slams government over fake seeds
Highlights

In his opening remarks at the protest, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) working president Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka has said Telangana has become a hub for spurious seeds, allegedly supported by the State government.Though farmers in the region had suffered crop losses, this government

Khammam: Opposition parties, led by the Congress, on Wednesday staged a protest, Annadatala Akrandana (Farmers’ Distress Call), demanding compensation to the chilli growers, who suffered crop loss due to spurious seeds.

In his opening remarks at the protest, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) working president Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka has said Telangana has become a hub for spurious seeds, allegedly supported by the State government.Though farmers in the region had suffered crop losses, this government appears nonchalant instead of taking stern action against spurious seed traders,” Bhatti said, accusing the ruling party of protecting Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy.

While the Opposition parties are raising hue and cry over the plight of cultivators, neither Pocharam nor any other Minister has come out in defence of farmers. On the other hand, the Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao says that farmers were buoyant this season, Bhatti said.He added that government’s inaction against the seed licencees and Agriculture Minister creating doubts that rulers themselves have a share in the fiasco.

The spurious seed trade is not just limited to chilli, but it also spread to all other varieties. Even the soya that is cultivated by Adivasis in Adilabad region also affected by adulterated seeds, he said.

At a time when farmers were in distress, the government wanted a posh Secretariat at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore, he criticised, demanding the Chief Minister to provide compensation to farmers based on average crop rational that farmers would have got if the seed was not spurious.

Government should understand that all the Opposition parties YSR Congress etc have congregated here at Khammam Collectorate for the cause of farmers,” Bhatti said, demanding the rulers to step down from their cars to know what really was happening to farming sector in the State.

Telugu Desam district president Tulluri Brahmaiah, CPI district secretary Bagam Hemanth Rao, BJP leader Ch Sudhakar, CPI (ML-New Democracy) leader Arjun Rao, YSR Congress leader J Saidulu were among others who spoke at the dharna.

Later, the leaders submitted a memorandum to district collector DS Lokesh Kumar. The memorandum sought the administration to give Rs 1 lakh per acre to chilli growers whose crop was affected by spurious seeds, and Rs 50,000 per acre to cotton farmers who suffered crop loss due to heavy rains.

It also demanded stringent action against the companies that supplied spurious seeds, besides the ouster of Agriculture Minister who was responsible for giving licences to companies in question.The leaders also sought the government to clear the crop loan waiver at one go.Farmers in large numbers attended the dharna.

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