Hyderabad, Nov.1 (Hydnow): Former Minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir strongly condemned Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao for accusing him of ‘enacting the drama’ of farmers setting ablaze fields of superfine variety of paddy crop in Shivnoor village of Narsingi Mandal in Medak district.
Ali, along with former AICC Secretary N. Bose Raju, PCC President Ponnala Lakshmaiah and other senior leaders, visited the fields on Sunday where farmers damaged paddy and cotton crops in Shivnoor village. Speaking to media persons by standing in the same field where the damaged crop of superfine variety of paddy was set ablaze by a farmer Ganesh, Shabbir Ali challenged the Chief Minister to visit the village or send his son and minister K. Tarakarama Rao, Agriculture Minister Niranjan Reddy or any other official of the State Government to crosscheck his allegation. He said that Ganesh was a tenant farmer and he also happens to be an electrician. “Is it a sin for a farmer to also work as an electrician?” he asked.
He said that the farmers have cultivated superfine variety of paddy on the advise of the Chief Minister. Therefore, it is the duty of the Chief Minister to support the farmers in case of crop losses due to the excess rainfall and other plant diseases. He said each farmer has suffered losses of several thousands of rupees per acre and the tenant farmers were the worst sufferers. He said it was highly shameful that the Chief Minister did not take any action to even enumerate the losses.
The Congress said that the Chief Minister has leveled false allegations while addressing a public meeting while launching Rythu Vedhika. He said that the Chief Minister must change his team of informants who are providing him false and misleading information. “It is shameful that the Chief Minister was calling the sufferings of farmers as ‘drama’. He must visit Shivnoor village or any other village to check whether or not farmers have lost their crops due to heavy rains and other plant diseases. Crops spread over nearly 300 acres were lost in Shivnoor village alone while the overall losses across Telangana State were to the extent of 13 lakh acres. Instead of announcing compensation and relief to the affected farmers, CM KCR is targeting me personally to downplay their sufferings,” he said.
Shabbir said that the farmers across the Telangana State were setting ablaze the damaged crops as they were not in a position to further invest Rs. 5,000 per acre for harvesting the wastage. He asked the Chief Minister to visit the Shivnoor village to check the situation by himself. He said that the Chief Minister lied by saying that the wastage was burnt after harvesting the crops. He said that the media interaction took place on October 27 in broad daylight and every bit of it was broadcast live by new channels. Similarly, he said that the damaged crops, along with the burnt fields, were still intact. He said farmers would keep their dead crops in a similar position for another week, if the Chief Minister assured to visit personally or send a team to enumerate the losses. He said instead of understanding the real situation, the Chief Minister was trying to blame him for raising a genuine issue and dismiss the pain of a farmer by calling him an electrician.
Reminding that KCR had offered to resign if proved wrong, Shabbir Ali said since the Chief Minister’s lies have been exposed now, he should now submit his resignation. He also challenged KCR to prove him wrong and he was ready to face any punishment, including hanging in the same fields. He said he was ready to sacrifice his life for the sake of Telangana farmers.
The leader said that the issue of crop losses should not be viewed with political lenses. He said allegations and counter-allegations between the ruling and opposition parties would not benefit the thousands of farmers who lost their crops spread over 13 lakh acres. He said that the Chief Minister could keep targeting the Congress party, but he should ensure compensation to the affected farmers.
He demanded that CM KCR tender an unconditional apology to him for spreading lies about him. Further, he said that the Chief Minister must announce compensation for the farmers who lost their paddy, cotton and other crops. (Hydnow)