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KCR announces next phase of protest over paddy procurement

 
Hyderabad, Nov 16 (IANS) Demanding the Centre to make its stand clear on paddy procurement from Telangana, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday announced the next phase of protest by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

All ministers, state legislators, MPs and other elected representatives of the ruling party will stage a 'dharna' at Indira Park in Hyderabad on November 18, announced Rao after presiding over a meeting of TRS legislators to chalk out future course of action.

He told reporters after the meeting that TRS will be after BJP which is adopting dual policy on the issue of paddy procurement.

The TRS leaders had staged 'dharna' in all Assembly constituencies on November 12, demanding the Centre to procure paddy from the state.

KCR said he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the concerned central minister on Wednesday, demanding the Centre to procure paddy from Telangana during the coming Rabi season.

He said the Centre should procure paddy from Telangana the way it is doing from Punjab. "You can't have one policy for one region and another for a different region," he said.

KCR said the state government had been waiting for 50 days but the Centre has not made its stand clear. Referring to the earlier stand by the Centre that it will not procure parboiled rice from Telangana, he said the Centre should clarify the quantity of raw rice it will procure from the state.

He said in view of the earlier stand taken by the Centre, the agriculture minister had advised farmers not to cultivate paddy and go for alternate crops. He, however, said BJP's state president Bandi Sanjay created confusion among farmers by asking them to grow paddy and not to worry about selling it.

KCR slammed Sanjay for his visit to paddy procurement centres and for what he called attacks on farmers. He alleged that the BJP leader was creating law and order problems. He claimed that those protesting against his visit were not TRS workers but were farmers.

He reiterated that TRS will not leave the BJP leader. "We are not going to leave you. You can't fool people with such tactics," he said.

KCR wanted Sanjay to clarify if he was still sticking to his stand on paddy cultivation or tender an apology to farmers.

The chief minister said after the November 18 dharna, the TRS government would wait for two more days and then tell farmers what to cultivate during the coming season.

He, however, appealed to farmers not to suffer losses by going in for paddy cultivation believing the statements of state BJP leader.

--IANS
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