Telangana ministers to meet Goyal over paddy procurement

Agriculture minister S. Niranjan Reddy said they had sought an appointment with Union minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday

Hyderabad: A delegation of state ministers left for Delhi on Tuesday to meet Union ministers and officials at the Centre to demand 100 per cent procurement of boiled rice made out of paddy grown in Telangana in the rabi season, as was being done in Punjab.

On the other hand, the TRS is gearing up party leaders and cadre to launch agitations across the state by involving farmers.

Ministers T. Harish Rao and Gangula Kamalakar held meetings with leaders of District Rythu Bandhu Samitis on Tuesday to discuss mobilising farmers if the Centre turns down the state’s demand.

Before leaving for Delhi, agriculture minister S. Niranjan Reddy told media personnel that the delegation had sought an appointment with Union food and public distribution minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday.

Niranjan Reddy said if the Centre fails to give an assurance on purchase the crop, the TRS will draft an action plan to start agitations on a massive scale as stated by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Monday.

Niranjan Reddy condemned Goyal's statement on Tuesday alleging that the Telangana government had not supplied the rice it was supposed to send to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in the past.

Goyal had also stated that the Telangana government had agreed in writing not to supply boiled rice from this year but was now blaming the Centre for non-procurement.

"Goyal is distorting facts and trying to mislead the people. Why would we stock custom-milled rice (CMR), when the Centre is not willing to lift it? We are only facilitators and it is the Centre's responsibility to lift the stocks,” he said.

Niranjan Reddy said the delay in transportation of rice to the FCI was on account of the Centre's negligence in arranging goods trains and rakes to shift rice.

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