AP Govt rules out enhancing compensation to damaged crops

TDP chief and other opposition parties have been demanding payment of compensation at the rate of Rs 10,000 per acre to the damaged crops.

Updated: Dec 20, 2010, 23:31 PM IST

Hyderabad: Notwithstanding TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu`s indefinite hunger strike even after his
arrest, the Andhra Pradesh Government on Monday ruled out
enhancing the compensation to damaged crops.

While the TDP chief and other opposition parties have
been demanding payment of compensation at the rate of Rs
10,000 per acre to the damaged crops, the government is
talking about the rise in input subsidy from Rs 4,500 to Rs
6,000 per hectare.

"We have enhanced input subsidy and got the Food
Corporation of India to relax norms for procurement of
discoloured paddy. We have opened 375 centres for procurement
of paddy through Civil Supplies Department," Chief Minister
Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy said in a statement.

"This is what any government at the present
circumstances can do," he said.

The Chief Minister also sought to trumpet the free
power scheme and the failed Jalayagnam programme claiming that
his government was "pro-farmer."

His cabinet colleagues D Sridhar Babu, D L Ravindra
Reddy and P Sabita Indra Reddy too said this was what the
government could do "in the given circumstances."

"The relief may be inadequate but there is no way we
can enhance it further in the current situation," they told
reporters separately.

D L Ravindra Reddy visited NIMS and personally
requested Chandrababu to call off his fast in view of his
worsening health condition.

The TDP chief, however, refused to heed and asserted
that he would continue his fast till justice was done to

The government`s claims drew immediate condemnation
from the opposition parties.

"It only exposes the gross apathy of the Congress
government in providing succour to the farmers in distress,"
TDP leaders Nama Nageswara Rao, K Yerran Naidu, Yanamala
Ramakrishnudu and others said.

They said not a single procurement centre was
functioning and was buying paddy from calamity-hit farmers.

They wanted the government to appoint an IAS officer
in each district specially to supervise paddy procurement.

The farmers` associations affiliated to the TDP and
the Left parties too denounced the relief measures announced
by the government and said they were grossly inadequate.

The leaders petitioned state Governor E S L Narasimhan
today seeking his intervention in granting higher compensation
to the distressed farmers.

The TDP, CPI and CPM leaders also met the Governor and
lodged a strong protest over the manner in which Chandrababu
Naidu was forcibly arrested and removed from the hunger-strike

Meanwhile, BJP MP Kalraj Mishra and Janatal Dal
(United) leader from Bihar Ali Anwar Ansari also met the
fasting Leader of Opposition in NIMS.

Ansari said Chandrababu`s indefinite hunger-strike has
stirred a debate in Bihar and was evoking widespread support.

He condemned the manner in which the former Chief
Minister was arrested early this morning.

Mishra too extended his solidarity with Chandrababu