Farmers on Tuesday staged a protest against the Centre at the residence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Arvind Dharmapuri, dumping paddy outside his house in the Nizamabad district of Telangana.
The protesting farmers alleged that the Centre has betrayed them by not procuring paddy from them. "He (the BJP MP) is hiding in Delhi and has betrayed us as Dharmapuri's yet to take cognizance of the paddy procurement issue. The Centre must procure paddy from us," a farmer told ANI.
Reacting to the protest, Dharmapuri claimed that the people who were agitating at his house were not real farmers, but "daily-wage labourers" hired by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA Jeevan Reddy.
After Dharmapuri accused the TRS MLA of orchestrating the protest, Reddy said that Telangana farmers are unhappy with the BJP's "step-motherly treatment", asking the Centre to explain the efficacy of the "One Nation One Procurement Policy".
"Telangana farmers are unhappy with the BJP's step-motherly treatment to the state. We'll fight for the rights of our farmers. We need an answer from the Centre on the 'One Nation One Procurement Policy' and as to when will they start paddy procurement from Telangana," Reddy said.
However, the Centre on Monday said the procurement in Telangana under the central pool has increased tremendously over the last five to six years.
Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said on Tuesday that the state government has decided to purchase paddy from farmers within three to four days. He requested all the farmers in the state to not sell their crops at a rate lesser than the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The Telangana government has been demanding from the Centre to procure the entire paddy stock from the State. Last year, a delegation of Ministers from the state met union Ministers to press for the paddy procurement from the state.