Gowda lashes out at UPA, expresses solidarity with Naidu
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Last Updated: Sunday, December 19, 2010, 00:03
Hyderabad: Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) president H D Deve Gowda on Saturday night lashed out at the UPA government for "totally neglecting" the farmers of the country and warned that it would not be able to withstand a revolt by the people.

"I just want to caution, just warn, that once people revolt, nobody can stop them," Gowda said addressing the gathering at TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu's indefinite hunger-strike camp here tonight.

The former Prime Minister expressed "full solidarity" with Chandrababu on the occasion.

Gowda said the recommendations of various committees, appointed by the Centre to suggest ways for the improvement of the agriculture sector have been put in cold storage.

"Let me tell you, this UPA government has done nothing in the last six years for the farmers though hundreds of them committed suicide. It is the prime responsibility of the Union government to come to the rescue of the farmers but it failed miserably," he said.

Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav, who also called on Chandrababu late in the evening, said the indefinite fast has now become a national issue.

"Thousands of crores are being siphoned off in various scandals but the UPA government is not spending any amount worth the name for the welfare of farmers even in times of distress," the former Union Minister said.

Earlier in the day, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and politburo member B V Raghavulu called on TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu on the second day of his indefinite hunger-strike here today and expressed solidarity with him.

Naidu explained the leaders the reasons for undertaking an indefinite fast as he was totally moved by the gloom of hapless farmers who faced the brunt of "as many as five major natural calamities in just one year."

The loss suffered by farmers was colossal while relief announced by the state government was a pittance, Naidu said.

Karat said the government should immediately enhance relief for farmers who were suffering untold misery this season.

Government doctors conducted tests on the fasting former Chief Minister this afternoon and reported that his blood pressure was "slightly higher than normal" but sugar levels were normal.

"Overall, his condition is very stable," they said.

Chandrababu's wife Bhuvaneswari, son Lokesh, daughter-in-law Brahmani and other close family members visited the hunger-strike camp and spoke to him.

The TDP president launched an indefinite hunger-strike at the new MLA quarters here yesterday demanding that the Centre immediately declare the recent natural calamity in AP as a national calamity and extend liberal aid to farmers and artisans who bore the brunt of nature's fury.

Thousands of TDP workers, farmers and common people from different parts of the state visited the fast camp and expressed their solidarity.

More than a dozen TDP legislators sat on relay hunger-strike on the second day in solidarity with their chief.

The TDP rank and file organised protest across the state demanding that the government immediately grant Rs 10,000 per acre as compensation to farmers who lost their crops due to heavy rains early this month.

At Kanchikacharla in Krishna district, farmers gheraoed agriculture minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy and demanded payment of compensation immediately.

Farmers staged rasta-roko on various important highways in the state by dumping the damaged crops on the road.

The TDP has called for a state-wide satyagraha tomorrow in solidarity with Chandrababu.


First Published: Sunday, December 19, 2010, 00:03

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