Excise minister V. Srinivas Goud led the road blockade on Hyderabad-Bengaluru highway near Bhoothpur in Mahbubnagar district. (Photo: Twitter)
HYDERABAD: The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) on Wednesday blocked national highways across the state demanding that Centre procure paddy from the state in the ongoing rabi season.
Ministers, TRS MLAs, MLCs, MPs, and elected representatives of various local bodies, cadres and farmers in large numbers staged a rasta roko on four national highways connecting Mumbai, Nagpur, Vijayawada and Bengaluru at several places as part of the agitation.
Traffic came to a grinding halt on highways for nearly five hours from 8 am to 1 pm forcing motorists to face scorching sun. Holding party flags, placards, paddy plants and raising slogans, the protestors squatted on the highways leading to huge traffic jams on both the sides. They strew paddy stocks on roads to block vehicular movement.
Endowments minister A. Indrakaran Reddy led the road blockade on the Hyderabad-Nagpur highway at Kadthal village junction near Nirmal town. Reddy said they were staging ‘rasta roko’ not to cause inconvenience to people but to raise their voice over paddy procurement. "We want our voice to be heard in Delhi and that is why we are staging this rasta roko on national highways," he added.
A massive protest was also held on the Hyderabad-Nagpur highway at Medchal, leading to huge traffic jam on the city outskirts. The police detained the protestors and shifted them to the police station.
Excise minister V. Srinivas Goud led the road blockade on Hyderabad-Bengaluru highway near Bhoothpur in Mahbubnagar district. TRS MP Kotha Prabhakar Reddy and other TRS leaders took part in the protest on the Hyderabad-Mumbai highway at Patancheru in Sangareddy district. The protestors blocked the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway in Nakrekal in Nalgonda district.
Kothagudem MLA Vanama Venkateshwara Rao staged a rasta roko on Vijayawada-Jagdalpur national highway in Ramavaram.
The party leaders said their protest would continue till the BJP government at the Centre agreed to procure the entire paddy from Telangana "as was being done in Punjab and other states."
Srinivas Goud said, " BJP leaders in Telangana who asked farmers to grow paddy and assured them that the Centre would procure, are now hiding their faces." TRS leaders urged farmers to question the BJP leaders in every village about their assurance on paddy procurement.