The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Monday staged protests across the state against the anti-farmer policies of the BJP-led government at the Centre.
State ministers, MPs, state legislators, other public representatives and party leaders led the protests in villages and towns, demanding the Centre to procure the entire paddy from the state.
On a call given by Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao, the party cadres organised the protests which included rallies, dharnas, beating of drums and burning of effigies.
The protesters raised slogans against the Central government and the BJP. The TRS cadres burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central ministers.
Carrying flags, banners and placards amid beating of the drums, the protesters demanded that the Centre lift the entire paddy from the state during the current Kharif season and also agree to procure during the coming Rabi season.
State Finance Minister Harish Rao led the protest in Gajwel while Transport Minister P. Ajay Kumar led the protest in Khammam.
Minister for tribal, women and child welfare Satyavati Rathore led the protest at the agriculture market in Mahabubabad district headquarter. She joined the party cadres in beating drums. The protesters set the effigy of the Prime Minister on fire.
State Forest minister A. Indrakaran Reddy led a huge rally in Nirmal town. Large number of party workers participated in the rally and raised slogans against the Centre.
TRS MLA Sandra Venkat Veraiah and other protesters carried bags of paddy on their heads to register their protest at Sattupalli in Khammam district.
This is the third phase of the protest organised by the TRS over the issue of paddy procurement. Last month, the party leaders and cadres had staged sit-in in all Assembly constituencies. Later, the chief minister himself had led the three-hour sit-in in Hyderabad and it was attended by the state ministers, MPs and other leaders.
Meanwhile, a delegation of six state ministers and MPs camping in Delhi for the last two days is still waiting for an appointment with the Central ministers.
State Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy, who is leading the delegation, demanded that the Centre should lift entire paddy, which is either yet to be procured at procurement centres in the state or yet to be harvested.
He said the state on Monday reached the target of 60 lakh tonnes paddy procurement allowed by the Centre for the current season. He said another 12-15 lakh tonnes of paddy was lying at the procurement centres while paddy was yet to be harvested in some districts. The minister said the state government had already requested the Centre to enhance the procurement target as the procurement is likely to continue till January 15.
“The Centre should give in writing that the entire paddy produced in the state will be procured. We are demanding assurance in writing in view of the bitter experiences with the Centre, ” he said.