TRS activists pouring water on a buffalo amid their agitation against central government in Karimnagar. (DC Image)
Hyderabad: Ministers and top TRS leaders led the party cadre and activists on Thursday in laying siege to district collectorates and revenue divisional offices (RDOs) across the state to protest the Centre’s decision against procuring paddy from Telangana in the ongoing rabi season.
A large number of TRS leaders and cadre including ministers, party MLAs, MLCs, MPs and elected representatives of local bodies participated in the dharnas that were held from 8 am to 1 pm.
With Thursday's protests, the party has completed three of the five phases of the agitation from April 4 to 11, announced by the party leadership.
TRS working president and IT minister K.T.Rama Rao participated in a protest at Sircilla. Addressing a rally there, Rama Rao accused Union food minister Piyush Goyal of insulting Telangana with his remarks that the state government should make its people habituated to eat broken rice since the Centre cannot procure boiled rice.
He termed Goyal's statements in Parliament on the lack of demand for boiled rice as 'blatant lies'. Rama Rao said the Centre had exported one crore tonnes of boiled rice to 90 countries.
He said BJP's "Delhi leaders and Telangana galli leaders" were trying to confuse farmers on paddy procurement with their contradictory statements. Taken in by their words, farmers had sowed paddy in over 35 lakh acres even after the TRS government had advised them in advance against doing so as the Centre had refused to purchase the crop.
"Now these BJP's Delhi and galli leaders are hiding their faces. We will not let the BJP leaders go till the Centre procures the paddy," Rama Rao said.
Finance minister T. Harish Rao took part in a massive protest at the RDO in Siddipet. He lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of running the government for the benefit of 'corporates' at the cost of farmers and the common people.
"The Modi government has the money to waive Rs 11 lakh crore loans of corporates but says it has no money to procure paddy from Telangana farmers. He is talking about the government suffering losses if paddy is procured."
Home minister Mohd Mahmood Ali and energy minister G. Jagadish Reddy took part in a dharna at Nalgonda. Ali termed Centre as 'dushman government' for "discriminating against Telangana while procuring paddy in Punjab." Jagadish Reddy said the TRS was forced to hit the streets after eight years due to the indifferent attitude of the Modi government.
Tribal welfare minister Satyavathi Rathod took part in a dharna at Maabubabad. She alleged that Modi government was indulding in 'vendetta politics' since TRS is fighting against anti-farmer, anti-people, anti-labour policies of the Centre.