“TRS is the only government that has been giving top priority to farmers and fulfilling their requirements. As Rs. 17,000 crore farm loan waiver was completed this year. Furthermore, we are offering Rs. 6,000 per acre to purchase seeds and fertilizers from next year. TRS government’s flagship programme Mission Kakatiya stands out as an example for all other states in the country…” Any situation or incident related to farmers, the TRS government in its counter attack ensures to mention the above statements. These are one of the best initiatives taken up by the government, but what about the unrest in farmers?
A farmer, Mallesh from Jogulamba Gadwal district disturbed over financial problems, allegedly attempted suicide by consuming a poisonous substance near Telangana Chief Minister’s Camp Office on Tuesday. Even before the incident of handcuffing the chilli farmers when they were produced before a court in Khammam was forgotten a new incident surfaced. The 33-year-old farmer was earlier assured assistance from Nizambad MP K Kavitha Rao from Chief Minister’s relief fund but with no luck. Mallesh was denied permission to meet Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
The ruling party’s indifference towards agriculture issues is evident from the fact that they failed to instil confidence in farmers. It may be recalled that as per NCB stats, Telangana is the second top state in farmer suicides only after Maharashtra during 2015 and 2014 as well. As many as 1358 farmer committed suicide in the state in 2015. If reporters are to be believed around 2840 farmers allegedly committed suicide since 2014.
While the state was drought-hit for two years, the government’s attempts to revamp agriculture and to wash off its bad image is not working in its favour. Furthermore, last week KCR said awareness on State programmes should be created through songs and films.
At a time when there is turmoil among farmers in the state, KCR or their officials should give priority to meeting farmers.
Segregation of agricultural land into crop colonies, linking agricultural labour with the MNREGA, farmer associations will have a huge impact in the long run but the immediate needs is to respond to the chilli and paddy farmers distress.