Vol. XLIII No. 12 March 24, 2019
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CPI(M) Demands Increase in MSP; Stands with Agitating Famers

Kambhampati Sharma

THE CPI(M) Telangana state committee has condemned the recent lathicharge on turmeric and red jowar farmers of Armoor and Nizamabad. The farmers were headed towards the state capital to protest against lack of minimum support price (MSP) as per the norms. Stating that violence could not solve any problem, CPI(M) demanded support price for red jowar and turmeric in addition to establishing a Turmeric Board soon. As per the constitution, the state government has to decide the prices for the agricultural produce, but the Telangana Rasthra Samithi (TRS) government has failed to deliver this duty, the CPI(M) said.
The cost of production of red jowar is Rs 2,200 per quintal but it is being sold for anywhere between Rs 1,700 to Rs 2,000 incurring huge loss to the growers; pushing them towards taking more debts every season. The Nizamabad farmers have been agitating for over a month, demanding Rs 15,000 per quintal of turmeric and Rs 3,500 per quintal of red jowar. The government, however, has been indifferent towards farmers’ issues and further detained and sent the protesting farmers to jail by filing false cases, resorting to extreme repression.
The support price announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not being implemented in any market yard and the difference between declared price and the actual selling price is huge, incurring losses to the farmers to the tune of Rs 8,300 crore every year. The government has been giving Rs 4,000 per acre in the name of Rythu Bandhu, only for the market agents to snatch them away pointing some reason or the other.
When the farmers of Maharashtra started their padayatra, on the second day itself, the ministers held discussions with farmers and made efforts to solve their problems. It is regrettable that the Telangana government has only shown apathy to the issues of its farmers. Even the agriculture minister and the minister for marketing department have failed to work towards arriving at a solution to the farmers’ problems.
It is deplorable that the TRS party which went begging for the support of these farmers in the recent elections has resorted to violence to shut their voices of dissent now.  The CPI(M) demands that the government should hold talks with farmers and solve their problems immediately.
The state secretary of CITU, M Saibabu, called on the workers to prepare for united struggles for justice. The state working committee meeting started on March 2 at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram, which was presided over by S Rama, vice president of the committee.
Saibabu suggested the government that district level committees (DLC) be established in all districts, in the absence of which many works from registration issues to unresolved disputes are mounting up in the districts. He further appealed to the state government to ensure that the recommendations made by the Minimum Wages Advisory Committee, Labour Welfare Board, Building and other construction boards’ recommendations be strictly implemented.
The state committee demanded 1 per cent allocation for RTC in the state budget and fixing the minimum pay at Rs 18,000 for the employees and sought release of GOs from the government, stating the same. Saibabu also demanded that welfare boards be constituted for the nine lakh drivers and cleaners of goods transport vehicles and five lakh hamalies in the state. CITU state vice president Sudha Bhaskar, was also present.