New Delhi, April 11: A confrontation is brewing between Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and the Centre after Rao began a sit-in protest in Delhi on April 11 over a dispute related to the purchase of rice from farmers in his state, as reported by Indian news channel NDTV.
NDTV reports the Telegana Chief Minister as saying, “If Modi has the guts, let him arrest me… With folded hands, I tell the PM and [Union Food Minister] Piyush Goyal. Please buy our food grains. I give you 24 hours, after that, we will take our decision.”
“Telangana demands their right. I would like to say to the PM to frame a new agriculture policy, and we will also contribute to that. If you do not do it, then you will be removed and the new government will make a new integrated agriculture policy,” said Rao as reported by NDTV.
NDTV reports that leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) led by the Chief Minister began a day-long dharna against the Centre on April 11 in Delhi, asking for procurement of 15 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice from the state.
The TRS intensified its protest and called the Delhi dharna after the central government is alleged to have refused Telangana’s request to buy parboiled rice in the current crop season.
The protest assumes significance after the Centre relented on new agricultural laws recently.
On the procurement issue the Chief Minister has warned the Centre saying, “Don’t play with sentiments of farmers who have the power to topple governments. Farmers are not beggars.”
The dispute started when the Centre contested Telangana’s stand saying that the Telangana government had given in writing that it would not supply parboiled rice but raw rice to the Food Corporation of India, reports NDTV.