Farmers court arrest for fair price, loan waiver

Farmers under the banner of the CPI(M)-led All India Kisan Sabha courted arrest here on Thursday in protest against the Centre’s failure to ensure remunerative price for their produce.

High drama preceded the preventive arrest of 67 farmer leaders and activists when they tried to gatecrash into the Prakasam Bhavan, the seat of administration here, demanding also blanket debt waiver, including loans secured from private money lenders.

The CPI(M)-led Centre for Indian Trade Unions district general secretary Ch.Srinivasa Rao extended its support to the farmers stir.

Leading the protest, AIKS-led Tenant Farmers’ Associaiton Prakasam district secretary P.Hanumantha Rao said it was unfortunate that farmers had been left to the mercy of market forces by the BJP-led NDA government which came to power promising to implement the recommendations of the National Commission on Farmers headed by agriculture scientist M.S.Swaminathan.

State govt. flayed

“We will intensify our agitation if the Union government remained indifferent to the plight of the farmers who were struggling to get decent returns for any of their produce,” said AIKS leader A.Venkateswarlu. They also raised slogans against the TDP government in the State for not ensuring that the paper mills offered the prices fixed by the government for subabul and eucalyptus logs.

The ryots also pressed for immediate release of 65 tmcft of Krishna water, the entitlement of the district under the Bachawat Award, from the Nagarjunasagar project.

For the fifth year in a row, the drought-prone district had been denied Krishna water due to release of water to the upper riparian districts which were entitled to only ‘flood waters’, they lamented.

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