HYDERABAD: The government of Telangana will pay Rs 3 lakh financial assistance each to the families of over 700 farmers who were killed during the nation-wide agitation against three farm laws of the Centre, announced Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday.
Addressing a news conference, he demanded the Centre to pay Rs 25 lakh each to the families of deceased farmers.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief said that it is the responsibility of the Centre to take care of the families of farmers who died during the protest over its wrong policies.
Terming the Centre’s decision to repeal three farm laws a great victory for farmers, he also demanded that withdrawal of all cases booked against farmers.
He said thousands of cases were booked against famers and others who supported them and these included even cases of sedition.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a mere apology will not help and that he should announce withdrawal of all cases.
The Chief Minister pointed out that Disha Ravi of Bangalore was arrested for tweeting in support of farmers. Several others like her were booked for showing solidarity with agitating farmers.
The TRS chief also demanded that the Centre bring Minimum Support Price (MSP) Act in the ensuing Parliament session.
“Farmers are demanding minimum support price, not maximum price for their produce. This is a just demand and the Act should be passed without any delay,” he said.
KCR also wanted the Centre to take back Electricity Bill and warned that if passed, it will trigger nation-wide protests by farmers. He claimed that the proposed law will harm the interests of farmers as meters will be installed for their electricity connections.
“Telangana is giving 24 hour quality power to agriculture sector but by bringing this law, the Centre is pressurizing the state to install meters for agriculture connections,” he said.
The chief minister announced that a team of officials led by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and a delegation of state ministers will leave for New Delhi on Sunday to demand the Centre to make its stand clear on procurement of paddy from the Centre.
KCR said despite repeated requests, the Centre was not responding. He demanded that the central government fixe clear annual target of paddy procurement so that the state government can guide the farmers accordingly.
The chief minister said if necessary he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of paddy procurement.
“After the Centre makes its stand clear, we will advise farmers on what to cultivate during the coming season,” he said and assured that the state government will procure entire paddy cultivated during rainy season.
The TRS leader also slammed the Centre for delay in deciding the share of Telangana in Krishna and Godavari river waters. He said though seven years had passed since formation of Telangana state, the Centre had still not fixed its share of waters. Demanding that the Centre set up a tribunal to fix the state’s share, he warned that further delay on the issue would evoke huge protest. He wanted the Centre not to test the state’s patience.
KCR also reiterated that the Centre undertake caste census of backward classes as this would help in evolving appropriate policies and programmes for their welfare.
“The Centre is saying it’s a sensitive issue. Why it’s a sensitive issue. We have caste system in the country. Why should we be ashamed of it. Are the governments not issuing caste certificates,” he asked.