Ending weeks of uncertainty, the Telangana government has asked the farmers not to grow paddy in the ensuing rabi season.
“We are not going to procure any rice produced in the upcoming rabi season. If you go for it, you are doing it at your own risk,” Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has said.
“After our recent visit to New Delhi, it is clear that the Centre is not going to take the parboiled rice from Telangana. We don’t have the wherewithal to buy the (rabi) rice and store it,” he said.
Criticising the Union Government for its anti-farmer policies, he alleged that the Modi government was responsible for the death of 750 farmers at the Delhi borders.
“It is the responsibility of the Central Government to procure rice. Even if it has to spend ₹30,000-40,000 crore on it, it should buy the rabi paddy. But it is abdicating its responsibility,” he said.
Blaming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for inciting the farmers in the State to grow paddy, while its Central leadership is refusing to buy it, he challenged G Kishen Reddy, Union Minister for Tourism and senior BJP leader from the State, to come for an open debate to discuss the issue.
Kharif paddy procurement
The Chief Minister said the Centre has refused to increase the paddy procurement target despite the fact that the State produces huge quantities of paddy. “While the State produced about 90 lakh tonnes, they said they will stick to the earlier target of 40 lakh tonnes,” he said.
Stating that the State Government would procure all of the paddy produced in the kharif season, he threatened to “throw the additional paddy stocks in front of the BJP office in Hyderabad and at the India Gate in Delhi”.