HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, last week on December 29th spoke on the farm laws and said that the state government is not a “Trader.” The state does not need to set up purchase centres as the farmers can sell their crop anywhere under the new farm laws.
A statement from the Telangana Chief Minister's Office (CMO) stated that "The government cannot do it anymore. It is not a rice or dal miller. Sale and purchase are not the responsibility of the government. It is not possible to set up a purchase centre in the village from the next year (2021) onwards.
"Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government had set up purchase centres in villages and bought crops on humanitarian grounds so that farmers don't suffer losses. It is not possible to do it every time,” added the statement.
This came as a complete U-turn on the state government’s part as earlier they supported the farmers and opposed the farm laws. They even stood in solidarity with the farmers during Bharat Bandh.
Where thousands of farmers are protesting in Delhi against the farm laws, here Telangana farmers are agitating over the state government’s latest decision of shutting down procurement centres. Aloong with the state farmers, even the opposition parties are criticizing KCR over his decision.
A meeting was organized by the CPI (M) district committee last week on Friday which was attended by the leaders of farmers’ organizations. During the meeting, it was decided that there will be protests from the state farmers, if the Telangana government does not take back their decision.
The leaders had decided on a mandal-level deekshas for five days, starting from today (Jan 3rd). They termed the closing of procurement centres as an “anti farmer” move and gave an ultimatum to the government. Either take back the decision or there will be a large ‘joint’ protest with all the farmers’ organizations coming together.
In the last week of December, a protest “Chalo Hyderabad” was organized as a continuation to the ongoing agitation. The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) spoke on the matter of purchase centres during this protest. AIKSCC leaders added how surprised they were over KCR’s decision. “Did KCR make a deal with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi to support the Acts?" they asked.