Finance Minister T Harish Rao on Monday made it clear that the State government had fulfilled its responsibility with regards to paddy procurement and it was the Centre’s turn to prove its commitment towards farmers’ welfare. 

He ridiculed the statements of Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled States against the TRS government in Telangana and dared them to compete with the State in development and farmers’ welfare rather than parroting such loose remarks.

“From Jawaharlal Nehru to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the union governments led by all the Prime Ministers procured crops from farmers. But the present BJP government has washed off its hands from its responsibility. The BJP leaders must spell out what the Centre had done specifically for farmers of Telangana. They must clarify which BJP-ruled State was extending better support to farmers than Telangana,” he demanded.

Addressing the Rythu Bandhu celebrations organised by TRS at NTR Stadium here, Harish Rao said Telangana was spending nearly Rs 60,000 crore from its budget for agriculture and related sectors which was highest by any State in the country. The TRS government spent Rs 2.5 lakh crore on agriculture since the State formation. 

He accused the BJP-led Central government of being an anti-farmer and stated that it was trying to loot farmers by fixing electricity meters for agricultural pump sets. He stated that the Centre has increased the farm expenditure through taxes including hike in prices of petrolelum products.

“The BJP has changed the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ to ‘Jai Jawan, Nai (No) Kisan’. If they are committed to the farmers welfare, the BJP-led union government should provide investment support of Rs 10,000 per acre per annum to farmers on the lines of Telangana. If they are so concerned about government employees, they should provide 30 per cent fitment to the Central government employees as well as employees of BJP-ruled States,” he demanded.

The Finance Minister ridiculed the argument of the BJP leaders to repeal the GO 317 which was issued as per the Presidential Orders to ensure 95 per cent jobs to the locals. “By opposing GO 317, the BJP leaders are not only objecting to the Presidential Orders itself but also denying majority of jobs to locals and also obstructing recruiments to government job vacancies,” he said. He stated that if there were any issues, the government would consult the recognised unions of the employees and the teachers to resolve them.

Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Ministers Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Mohd Mahmood Ali, Rythu Bandhu Samithi chairman Palla Rajeshwar Reddy and other elected representatives participated in the celebrations.

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