Hyderabad: The Collector of Siddipet district in Telangana has come under attack from the opposition Congress, BJP, CPI and others following his alleged remarks that action would be taken against officials and seed-sellers even if one kg of paddy seed is sold in the district.
The parties on Wednesday criticised the Collector P Venkatrama Reddy by alleging that he was encroaching upon the freedom of farmers to cultivate paddy.
"There are about 350 shops. From this moment, if a kilo paddy is sold from (any of) these 350 shops, that shop is closed, seized," Reddy is seen saying in a video that has gone viral.
He allegedly stated that he would not care even if there are court orders.
His alleged remarks came against the backdrop of the State government reportedly seeking to promote cultivation of crops other than paddy.
Some senior State officials opined last month that it is not advisable to cultivate paddy in the State in view of the Centre deciding against purchasing boiled rice due to excess stocks.
Criticising the Collector's alleged remarks, State Congress president and MP A Revanth Reddy demanded that the State government take action against him.
"Siddipet Collector threatens to seize seed shops that sell paddy seeds & will not let them open even if they get orders from Supreme Court. He threatens to suspend officers too. Is the collector 'SUPREME' than the Supreme Court? I demand @TelanganaCMO to take immediate action," he tweeted.
Alleging that the TRS government was trying to move away from the responsibility of procuring paddy from the farmers, he asked why should lakhs of crores of rupees be spent on irrigation projects when there is no opportunity to cultivate paddy.
CPI State secretary Chada Venkat Reddy and BSP leader R S Praveen Kumar have also disapproved of the Collector's alleged remarks.
Meanwhile, Venkatrama Reddy clarified in a statement that-seed sellers have been urged in a meeting on Monday to sell quality seeds to farmers during the 'Yasangi' (summer) season crop.
The seed dealers have been told that tough action would be taken if spurious seeds are sold to the farmers, he said.
He stated in the meeting that it would be profitable to the farmers if they cultivate alternative crops as paddy was cultivated on a large-scale during the rainy season, Venkatrama Reddy said.
It would not be useful if all farmers cultivate paddy again in the 'yasangi' (summer) crop, he recalled having said in the meeting.
He was driving home the point that cultivation of alternative crops would be beneficial, he said.
He stressed that it is not correct to twist what he spoke and spread it falsely on the social media....