Paddy row: TRSâ€™ week-long stir to begin tomorrow
Agitation to culminate in Delhi with hundreds of elected representatives taking out rally
HYDERABAD: The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) on Saturday announced agitation programmes from Monday to April 11, all the way from villages to the national capital, to press its demand that the Centre procure paddy produced in the state in the rabi season.
The party will hold a rally in Delhi on April 11 but a decision has not been taken on the participation of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao released the five-phase action programme here at Telangana Bhavan on Saturday.
Speaking to media personnel, Rama Rao said protest rallies would be held in all mandal headquarters on Monday. On April 6, four major national highways — to Nagpur, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Vijayawada — will be blocked.
On April 7, protest rallies will be held in all the 32 district headquarters barring Hyderabad by ministers and MLAs along with farmers.
On April 8, hoisting of black flags in all the 12,769-gram panchayats will be undertaken. Rama Rao urged farmers to hoist a black flag in their house to mark their protests. He called upon them to burn effigies of the BJP-led government at the Centre.
On April 11, all TRS ministers, MLAs, MLCs, MPs, chairpersons of zilla parishads and mandal parishads, chairpersons and mayors of municipalities and municipal corporations, chairpersons of market committees and cooperative societies, Rythu Bandhu Samiti leaders from madal level to state level, TRS mandal, district party presidents etc will take part in 'Chalo Delhi' programme and hold a protest rally in Delhi.
Rama Rao urged all farmers to take part in the agitation programmes announced by the TRS since they were being undertaken to protect the interests of Telangana farmers. He said there was no question of stopping the protest till the Centre yielded.
He said the TRS government had advised farmers in advance not to sow paddy. "But BJP leaders Kishan Reddy and Bandi Sanjay provoked farmers and misled them stating that the state government had no role in paddy procurement and the Centre would procure and that they would take this responsibility. Believing them, Telangana farmers sow paddy in 35 lakh acres in rabi. Now the crop has reached the harvest stage and stocks will arrive in markets in a week or so. Now the BJP government at the Centre is giving statements in Delhi that there is no question of procuring paddy from Telangana in rabi. Where are our state BJP leaders who provoked and misled farmers to sow paddy in rabi," Rama Rao asked.
Rama Rao condemned union food minister Piyush Goyal's statement in Parliament on paddy purchase. "Goyal says there is no demand for boiled rice. We have all the evidence of how there is huge demand for boiled rice in international markets and how the Centre exported one crore tonnes of boiled rice. We will expose all these details soon. Goyal says the Centre cannot export rice procured under the Food Security Act. Why can't the Centre amend this Act," Rama Rao asked.