Nizamabad Farmers to enter Lok Sabha elections to save their Turmeric crop
Around 1,000 Nizamabad farmers have threatened to file nominations from Nizamabad constituency in Telangana as Independent Candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections if their demand for minimum support price MSP for their crop is not met
Hyderabad: Around 1,000 Nizamabad farmers have threatened to file nominations from Nizamabad constituency in Telangana as Independent Candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections if their demand for minimum support price (MSP) for their crop is not met.
India is the Largest producer of Turmeric for almost 80% of the World's turmeric production and nearly 60% of global exports. In 2017-18, Telangana accounted for 13% of the country's share of turmeric production with Nizamabad being the main hub. The Constituency is represented by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter K Kavitha.
"We have been protesting for the last 20 days, but no one has paid heed. Our joint action committee (JAC) has decided that at at least 1,000 people from 200 villages where turmeric is grown will contest the election, said a farmer from Nizamabad and whose is also a member of JAC.
There is no hope among the farmers that they would win the election. They said that this their way of expressing their anguish. The farmers have decided to collect the Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 election security deposit from village development committees so that the burden does'nt fall on the candidates.
The farmers have been saying that they invest Rs 9,000 per quintal of Turmeric, but would get only Rs 4,500 from Traders. They have approached both the state and central government to procure the crop at Rs 10,000 per Quintal.
These were on eof the Tactics played by the farmers to contest the polls in the state to convey their grievances since the 1996 Lok Sabha elections. A record number of 537 candidates, includinf 66 women, had filed nominations from Nalgonda then. Most of the independents were sponsered by the Jala Sadhana Samithi, Which had launched an agitation for early implementation of the Srisailam Left Bank Canal Project and Drinking Water supply scheme of the flouride affected villages in the district
During that period, Around 35 nominations were rejected while 22 withdrew from the contest. As many as 480 candidates, including 60 women were finally contested. Because of the huge number in the fray, the Election Commission (EC) had difficulty in alloting poll symbols to the candidates and the election was postponed by a month,
The Election Commission later changed the rules for independent candidates and increased the security deposit 10 fold to Rs 5000 for Scheduled caste or Scheduled Tribe Candidates and Rs 10,000 for nominees from other castes and communities. The election was finally won by B Dharmabiksham of the CPI. In 2014 too, 27 turmeric farmers had filed nominations from Nizamabad and 10 had contested. At that time we were promised but nothing happened said saya reddy another farmer and JAC member.
An EC official said farmers will have to get at least 10 people to certify their nominations. People have imposed Section 144 in Nizamabad division on Monday and Tuesday in view of protest by the farmers.