Khammam Mirchi Farmers Bring Tears To The Eyes Of The Rulers
Hyderabad: Telangana Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao and his band of dedicated worked have strived for a week to make Warangal meeting massive and impressive. The huge gathering at Warangal recently on the eve of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS)’s 16 anniversary was attended by farmers. It was meant to be a farmers’ meeting.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has exploited the occasion to the hilt by announcing in a grandiose manner his decision to give ₹8000 per acre so that a farmer can buy seeds, fertilisers and pesticides without having to borrow from money-lenders. He spoke of the happy life of the farmers hereafter. All the newspapers have dutifully published the photos of the gathering and KCR’s speech as banner item. The TV channels showed the show live. The channels also took up the subject for the talk shows in which the discussants have praised the political sagacity of KCR and the inevitability of his party retaining power after the 2019 elections.
Not even 24 hours had passed before the joy was shattered by farmers at Khammam market who went on a rampage on 28 April 2017. Farmers from all over the old Khammam district had converged on Khammam town. The government officials were not able to read the ground situation when thousands of chilli bags kept piling in the market. The bags were placed on the roadside near the market yard. The buyers had different ideas. They reduced the price by half. They were cleverly manipulating the situation caused by the arrival of thousands of chilli bags. The farmers understood the game plan of the traders and commission agents and the meaningful silence of the government officials. The farmers were seething with anger. Their rage knew no bounds. They destroyed the furniture and ransacked the market yards. They set ablaze chilli bags.
On the next day, April 29th, the Congress and Left leaders went to Khammam to express solidarity with the farmers. They were arrested. Minister for Irrigation T Harish Rao has alleged that those who ransacked the market yard were not farmers but goons brought by TDP MLA Sandra Veera Venkaiah. He said farmers are peaceful people and they don’t indulge in destruction. Chief Minister KCR said it was a conspiracy by the Congress and the TDP to defame the party and the government. He warned that his government would not yield to pressure. Congress leader Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy who visited the market yard was taken into custody. He demanded a judicial probe into the incidents. Congress Legislative Party leader K Jana Reddy, PCC acting president Bhatti Vikramarka, former Rajya Sabha Member V Hanumantha Rao and former Union Minister Renuka Chowdari visited Khammam on Monday and made adequate noice. It an opportunity for the Congress leader to retaliate for the abuses KCR had heaped on them by calling all of them useless fellows. The Congress workers and TRS workers came to blows at the market yard. Jana, Bhatti and other leaders went to jail to meet the farmers who were arrested and put in jail. They demanded the release of the farmers. The delegation has also interacted with the members of the families belonging to the farmers who were jailed.
The government should have intervened and restored the chilli prices that were in vogue one week back. Instead, it has put scores of farmers in jail. Thus the TRS has lost more at Khammam than what it gained at Warangal on the farmers front.
Jana Sena Demands Rs. 11,000 per quintal
Jana Sena President Pawan Kalyan has demanded Rs 11,000 for quintal of chillis. He blamed the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for neglecting the farmer, the givers of food. He said the governments have time for corporate houses but they don’t have time or sympathy for the poor farmer. While the agrictultural department has failed in advising the farmers on what extent should the mrichi be grown the marketing department has failed in getting remunerative price for mirchi the farmers have grown by working day and night.