Experts say many ways to read the paddy protest politics, including a question on prestige factor. The paddy politics in Telangana has warmed up the political atmosphere in the State and gives an impression that the TRS wants to more or less follow the formula of Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee and create an anti-BJP atmosphere among the people by the time the state goes for polls in 2023.
It has chosen the issue of paddy and for public posturing has been making aggressive statements that it will haunt and chase the Centre till they buy every grain of paddy during kharif. They claim that they are born out of massive 10-year long agitation for separate State and they know how to face the Centre.
Fine but the difference between Mamata’s fight and the way TRS is going around is that Mamata has been critical of the Centre both in words and deeds. But here the situation appears to be different. The aggressiveness is restricted only to statements.
The BJP which wants to capitalise on its victory in Huzurabad has also hit the road. All this fine politically but in the process, it is the farmer who is suffering most.
The Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao himself admitted that the State government was not clear as to what the policy of center was regarding paddy procurement. This he said had resulted in failure of the government to come with appropriate cropping pattern.
From the day the Chief Minister held a press conference soon after the Huzurabad byelection results and lashed at BJP and said that the war had begun and that the pink party would chase them and haunt them till they agree to buy last grain of paddy, the TRS was speaking about Rabi crop. On the other hand, the BJP had hit the road demanding that the government buy Kharif paddy. Now the State suddenly refers to Kharif crop.
Despite claiming that the government had opened over 6000 purchasing centres, the fact is that the purchase has been at a snail’s pace. According to government figures only 59 per cent of the total yield has been procured so far.
What the State government does not explain is why the slow process of paddy procurement. The procedure is that the State must procure from the farmer, give it to millers and then supply rice to the FCI. This is a cost-intensive exercise. It is being said that that the State government does not have enough money to buy all the paddy due to fund crunch and storage problems.
Recently it is learnt to have given bank guarantee to raise loan but the banks, it is alleged, have not accepted. To what extent this is true, only the government knows as no one is willing to comment about it.
The letter written by the Chief Minister makes one thing very clear. FCI would procure only 40 lakh MTs of rice during the present kharif season. This could be one of the reasons for slow procurement by the State government. But for public consumption, ministers claim that government was ready to buy every grain of paddy.
How, no one explains or knows, and the future of the farmer continues to be bleak. Can government sponsored dharnas resolve this issue? Time only will tell. #KhabarLive #hydnews