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Political News Telangana

Bhatti’s walkathon gets huge response against centre’s farm laws

Bhatti vikramarka

The fourteen-day Raitulatho Mukhamukhi (Direct Interaction with farmers) like Kisan Mahapanchayats of North India “Polam Bata Poru Bata” (Walk to farm,  a walk to fight) Yatra undertaken by the Congress Legislature Party Leader in Telangana Assembly  Bhatti Vikramarka Mallu covering vast tracts of the State of Telangana to elicit farmers’ understanding of the black  farm laws brought by the Modi government succeeded in bringing out the real problems faced by the farmers of the State.
            Farmers met Bhatti at every village centre and poured their anger against the farm bills that aimed at corporatizing Indian farming benefitting only the rich. The CLP leader gave a patient hearing to the farmers in distress and moved on to the next village from Adilabad to Khammam during the crucial and timely Raitulatho Mukhamukhi  yatra.
            The farmers of Telangana spoke in one voice against the farm laws making it clear that the new legislations will only make them subservient to the corporates. Farmers pointed out that even when they took their produce to the nearby procurement centre, they never received commensurate price and what is the guarantee that they will benefit by taking it and selling it in faraway places in the country. 
The main worry of the farmers is the scrapping of Minimum Support Price (MSP).
            They said that they are terrified to imagine a situation where their produce has to be sold without the guarantee of an MSP. “This move will be disastrous to the farming community, forcing them to beg for a better price in front of the big corporations,” they told the CLP leader.  Ashok, a farmer from Bheemsari village in Adilabad district said that both Telangana and Central governments have been avoiding payment of premiums of “Fasal Bima” (Crop Insurance) by blaming each other, highlighting a real problem faced by the Telangana farmers. Kishtayya, another farmer wondered how marginal farmers can transport their yield to markets elsewhere, as the new farm law says that farmers can sell their produce anywhere in the country.
The farmers also urged the CLP leader to impress on the government to continue the input subsidy scheme for farmers along with the “Rytu Bandhu” scheme that provided them with cash incentive. They pointed out that the TRS government has discontinued the “Pavala Vaddi” loan, and distribution of inputs on subsidy to farmers after launching the Rytu Bandhu scheme. “The government thinks that Rytu Bandhu will solve all the problems. What happened to the Rs 1 lakh loan waiver that the State government offered,” the farmers asked?
            Another farmer Bhim Reddy and Sanjiv Reddy of Deepayiguda said “the State government till yesterday was saying that it would purchase every single grain from farmers’ door steps, now under the garb of the central regulation the State is saying that farmers have to take their produce and sell it in other markets. This would increase the cost of production higher than the MSP”, adding that the MSP is also not reflecting the real cost of production.
            Rising the issue of agrarian distress and protection of farmers, leaders of Rytu Swarajya Vedika told the CLP leader that 262 farmers of the district have committed suicide since 2014. They pointed out that none of these farmers have received any ex-gratia.
 Narsaiah of Utnur village of Khanapur constituency rued that recent untimely rains have damaged his chickpea crop and there is no compensation paid for his loss. 
Raja Ratnam a farmer from Rendlagada is worried about the future and was asking where he shall take his produce and how to lead a life of uncertainty. Farmers will be forced to live on streets if the new laws are implemented.
            The mood was no different in another North Telangana district Karimnagar. Thousands of farmers met the senior Congress leader and registered their protest against the new laws. Shankar a farmer from Eklaspur said that the centre and State governments are cheating farmers who form 80 per cent of the Indian population. Gaddam Kumar of Adavi Srirampur wanted to know how the farmers can be protected from the middlemen once the IKP (Indira Kranti Padham) purchasing centres are removed and the farmers are left in the open, unprotected. 
Other farmers predicted a day where the rich and urban operators will store the produce in huge godowns and rule the market which would eventually lead to spiralling food grain prices, leading to hunger and starvation of the poor.
             Farmers Mohan Reddy and Meda Lakshman demanded the government to continue the IKP (Indira Kranti Padham) purchasing centres for the protection of the poor farmers. A women farmer from Mutyampet of Korutla Mandal (block) raised the issue of transport cost and said that the farmers are not in a position to pay for the transport charges. Kamalakar expressed anger over the derogatory remarks of political leaders against the farmers who are opposing the laws.  “A Minister spoke ill of farmers belittling us. Give us a dress code if we have to get some respect,” he said.
            In Nizamabad the farmers highlighted the issue of lack of MSP for agricultural produce. Shiva of Nagapur and Kishta also from the same villages raised the issue of lack of support price for turmeric. Saireddy of Nandiwada said that the new laws will turn farmers into beggars. In Medak, which was once called “Metuku Seema” Dakanna of Raipalli showed his harvested Tomato crop and said that there is no one to purchase the perishable commodity. How can he take the vegetable to a faraway market and sell, is the question that the government must answer? “If I fail to find someone to buy the crop, I might have to dump the tomatoes on the road,” he said. 
The anger was similar and became louder and louder from each village that the CLP leader visited during his yatra.  In Vikarabad, Jadcherla, Kalwakurty, Nalgonda and Khammam, the farmers were in unison demanding continuation of the MSP. 
            The yatra which began on February 9th from Bheemsari of Adilabad culminated at Konijarla in Khammam district Today on Monday (22-02-2021). The CLP leader undertook the yatra to protest against the black laws and also to express solidarity with the farmers of the Telangana State and farmers elsewhere in the country.

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