Hyderabad: The Telangana Congress party has ridiculed the conferring of Agriculture Leadership Award-2017 to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao by the Indian Council for Food and Agriculture (ICFA).
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Sunday, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Chief Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan said that the award, the agency giving it and the recipient (KCR) were farce. He said that the ICFA is a private institution and has a tainted image for its shady practices.
He also alleged that the ICFA misused the name of famous Agronomist M.S. Swaminathan to provide cheap publicity to KCR.
“ICFA appears to be a dubious private organization, which seems to be acting like a broker of global seed companies and appears to be indulging in lobbying with various governments to protect the business interests of seed companies,”
He also questioned the audacity of KCR to have accepted such an award from a private agency being a Chief Minister. He said ICFA might have dubious interest in grating the award, but KCR should be sensible enough while accepting the award from a private organisation.
“KCR should introspect if he is truly eligible for the Agriculture Leader award or not?” he said.
Sravan said that the Chief Minister does not deserve any award, even if it is being given by a tainted firm, for his services in agriculture sector.
“Over 3,500 farmers committed suicide during TRS regime and not a single family got the compensation of Rs. 6 lakh under GO 421. Lakhs of farmers lost three consecutive crops due to negligence of State Government and adverse weather conditions. None of them got any financial help for the damages due to drought or unseasonal rains.
KCR Government also failed make proper estimates crop losses due to natural calamity and was even irresponsible to seek the appropriate support from Government of India.
In last crop season, farmers could not get proper remuneration for their produce and when some chilli farmers of Khammam protested, they were implicated in false cases, chained and hand-cuffed. Farmers were brutally lathicharged when they protested against erratic power supply.
Thousands of farmers, including those in Chief Minister’s constituency Gajwel, are still protesting against the forcible acquisition of their lands,” he pointed out.
Further, Sravan said that TRS Government did not implement the crop loan waiver scheme in a proper way. It kept the farmers hooked to their debts for over three years by splitting the loan amount in four installments. “Deliberate delays in releasing the installment pushed the farmers into more debts due to accumulation of interest.
There are still lakhs of farmers whose fourth installment has not been cleared by the government. Despite giving an assurance in the Telangana Assembly and Council, the Chief Minister failed to ensure payment of added interest by the government.
Present government did not bring smile on the face of a single farmer. KCR always kept them in tense mood by enforcing anti-farmer policies like forcible land acquisition. It is highly disgraceful that such a person is being named for an Agriculture Award,” he said.
Sravan also slammed Governor E.S.L. Narsimhan for the haste he has shown in congratulating the Chief Minister for the award. “In his urge to appease KCR, the Governor did not even verify whether ICFA was a government-body or a private institution. In his congratulatory message,
Governor claimed that KCR has been selected by the Central Government for the award. The act of Governor is unjustified and demeaning the chair,” he said and urged that he give a rejoinder about the credential of ICFA and clarify that it is not Government of India’s award.
The Congress leader alleged that MS Swaminathan must have been misled by the ICFA on the performance of KCR. “We appeal to Mr. Swaminathan to visit Telangana State to check the ground realities. He should interact with the affected farmers and also with the families of those who committed suicide.
He should speak to farmers of Khammam who were chained and hand-cuffed and to the farmers of Nerella village who were subjected to third-degree torture by the police. We have lot of respect for Mr. Swaminathan and he should be impartial and fair in recommending names for any award,” he said.
“We have great respect to MS Swaminathan for his contribution to the green revolution and strengthening agriculture. But certainly we have objections to award KCR as a leader of Agriculture” when his own lopsided policies have caused severe distress among the farmers in Telangana.
Sravan questioned MS Swaminathan that how a person is awarded as leader of agriculture when he brands “Raithu” as “Rowdy” and when in his rule, the poor farmers are subjected to police brutality, handcuffed and sent to jail.
The Congress leader appealed to MS Swaminathan to visit the distressed farmers and understand the reasons for their pathetic plight.
Sravan also urged Swaminathan to not to get carried away by ICFA or KCR and but should make an objective assessment of the ground reality before the award is conferred to KCR.
Along with Dr Sravan Dasoju, Budida Bixamaiah Goud, Ex MLA and President of District Congress Committee, Nalgonda District participated in the press meet. (INN)