Paddy purchase: TRS to step up stir against Centre

The plan included supporting the nationwide strike called by trade unions on March 28 and 29

Hyderabad: The TRS on Friday announced an action plan to intensify its agitation to press its demand that all paddy grown in the state during the rabi season be purchased by the Centre. The plan included supporting the nationwide strike called by trade unions on March 28 and 29.

Party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao could sit on a dharna in the national capital if the situation warranted, sources said. No date has been confirmed yet.

Ministers who were part of the delegation that visited Delhi to meet union food minister Piyush Goyal to demand paddy procurement but returned empty-handed, briefed the media at the Telangana Bhavan here on Saturday, outlining the programme.

Ministers S. Niranjan Reddy, V. Prashanth Reddy, Gangula Kamalakar and Puvvada Ajay Kumar said agitations and protests would be held across the state from the first week of April, after Ugadi. The TRS rank and file have been directed to take part in the two-day strike called by a joint platform of Central trade unions to protest against the “anti-people and anti-worker policies” of the BJP government.

All the gram panchayats have been asked to pass unanimous resolutions on March 26 demanding that the Centre procure all the state’s paddy. Mandal parishads will pass similar resolutions on March 27, zilla parishads on March 30 and municipalities and municipal corporations on March 31.

These resolutions would be sent to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the union food ministry. If there is no response, TRS leaders and cadres from the village level upwards should intensify their agitation programmes and hold protest rallies after Ugadi, the ministers said.

These agitation programmes will be extended to Delhi later if there is no response from the Centre. The ministers stated that the action plan would be finalised depending on the Centre’s response. There was no question of going easy on the issue, the ministers stated.

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