Harish Remark Ignites BJP Protest

Debate on farmers’ suicides in the Assembly turns acrimonious

Published: 01st October 2015 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2015 05:00 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: Barring the MIM, legislators belonging to all other opposition parties, including leader of the opposition K Jana Reddy stayed back in the Assembly even after the session concluded on Wednesday. Alleging that the government had failed to boost farmers’ morale, they staged a protest at the speaker’s podium. Later, they were whisked away by the marshals and taken to MLAs Quarters.

Though the discussion began on a peaceful note, things heated up as it progressed. BJP and ruling party members got into a slanging match when legislative affairs minister T Harish Rao read out a statement of Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh which attributed farmers’ suicides to family feuds, love affairs and impotency.

Harish Rao’s remarks riled the BJP MLAs and the House plunged into pandemonium with BJP accusing the treasury benches of digressing from farmers’s suicides. Deputy speaker Padma Devendar Reddy’s appeal for restraint fell on deaf ears.

“These are utterly baseless allegations. The Union minister never made such remarks. In fact, state agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy has made humiliating statements. This is just an attempt by the government to hide their mistakes,” BJP floor leader K Laxman alleged.

Even as the chaos created by Harish Rao’s statements subsided, a request by deputy chief minister Kadiam Srihari to BJP MLAs worsened the BJP members’ mood. Stating that the Telangana farming community is in a moribund state, Srihari appealed to BJP members: “Use your good offices to help Telangana get financial aid of Rs 8,000 crore so that we can waive off farmers’ loans at one go. We certainly repay that amount in a phased manner.” He also said that the government was willing to introduce a resolution in the House if the BJP wanted it.

This made BJP leader Kishan Reddy ask: “Had you asked us before incorporating crop loan waiver in your manifesto? And also tell us if you are inefficient and cannot tackle the problem.”

As the treasury members objected to Kishan Reddy’s remarks, Srihari said, “In fact, Bihar has received such a package and it is not part of any manifesto. Tell us if it is not possible for you.”


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