KARIMNAGAR: Civil Supplies and BC Welfare Minister Gangula Kamalakar found himself in the eye of the storm on Friday after scores of farmers grilled him over the State government’s stand on the cultivation and procurement of Yasangi paddy. Putting the Minister in a spot, the farmers demanded that Kamalakar explain to them the government’s plan for Rabi season.
It may be mentioned here that the State government had recently issued a stern warning to farmers against growing paddy. Officials, in fact, have threatened seed dealers that their licences would be cancelled if they sell paddy seeds to farmers. It may be recalled that even Siddipet Collector P Venkatrami Reddy had courted a controversy after he reportedly sent out a warning to dealers that he would have their shops sealed if they were found selling paddy seeds to farmers.
While Kamalakar was speaking after inaugurating the newly set up paddy procurement centres at Nagnoor, Durshed and Kothaplli villages, several farmers who had gathered there started creating a ruckus asking as to what the government has decided about the procurement of paddy produced by them during the ongoing Rabi season.
Meanwhile, the scene escalated when the Minister tried to evade the questions by blaming the Centre for the issue. “I understand your hardships, which is why I am requesting you to mount pressure on the Centre. Union Minister G Kishan Reddy and BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar should pursue the matter with the Union government. Procurement of paddy is completely the Centre’s responsibility,” he said and pointed out that the TRS government has made all necessary arrangements for the purchase of Vanakalam paddy. “The TRS government has already set up about 6,540 paddy procurement centres,” he pointed out. However, Kamalakar stayed tight-lipped over the procurement of Rabi paddy.
The ryots who were not satisfied with this response took the Minister to task, as a result of which both of them entered into a heated argument. Though the Minister tried to pacify the ryots, they put their foot down for proper answers. Irked by this, Kamalakar left the meeting spot immediately.