BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar along with family participates in a puja at Sriraja Rajeswari swamy temple, Vemulawada on the occasion of Shivaratri. (Photo by arrangement)
Hyderabad: BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Tuesday demanded that the state government conduct an all-party meeting to discuss the problems being faced by tenant farmers, who are deprived of benefit from any welfare scheme being extended to the agriculture sector.
In an open letter to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, the state BJP president suggested that representatives of farmers’ organisations and intellectuals should also be invited to the meeting.
Sanjay said there were around 14 lakh tenant farmers who were dependent on cultivation taken on lease from other farmers "Though tenant farmers are also depending on agriculture like any other farmers, schemes like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima, Yantra Lakshmi etc are not applicable to them. They don’t get the subsidy on seeds and fertilisers and are not eligible to get crop loans from banks," he said.
The TS BJP president said it was unfortunate that the tenant farmers were not able to get the benefits of the welfare schemes while big farmers who had never done cultivation in their lives were getting financial assistance.
Sanjay said that the 11th Five Year Plan had clearly suggested that the states should make appropriate amendments in the Tenancy Act without taking away the rights of the land owners. "The amendment to the Tenancy Act is meant for ensuring security to the tenant farmers and protection of interests of the land owner," he said.
However, the state government has not been providing any rights to the tenant farmers and was even refusing to recognise them as farmers. "This is highly deplorable," he said.
Sanjay said the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) had suggested that tenant farmers could be given crop loans at 0.25 per cent interest. The AP government had been extending welfare schemes to tenant farmers, on the lines of landowning farmers.
"But the TRS government has been discriminating against small and marginal farmers who are depending on tenancy cultivation. This is unpardonable," he said.