Hyderabad: TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu
on Friday demanded convening of a special session of Parliament to
discuss farmers` plight even as he announced to undertake
`padayatra` in all the 22 districts of Andhra Pradesh from
November 2 seeking justice for them.
Addressing a press conference here today, Chandrababu
said that the Parliament should discuss the recommendations of
M S Swaminathan Committee and initiate necessary action to
pull the agriculture sector out of the deep crisis.
Accusing the state and the Central government of ignoring
the agriculture sector, he said, "an unprecedented drought has
hit Andhra Pradesh this season. More than 700 mandals
(tehsils) across the state are reeling under drought caused by
inadequate rains and acute power shortage.
"But the state government has not even notified the
drought-hit areas, thereby leaving the farmers in the lurch."
"Crops in over 37 lakh acres have dried up due to
inadequate rains while power shortage has left crops in over
three lakh acres dry. The state government should own up
responsibility for this," he said.
On his part, the TDP chief has decided to undertake
padayatra (foot march) in all the 22 districts of the state
from November 2 "to prepare farmers for a struggle seeking
justice and a better deal".
The former Chief Minister pointed out that prices of
agricultural inputs have shot up significantly in recent times
as the government deregulated the prices. "On one hand, you
deregulate prices of inputs and on the other you still want to
control the prices of agro produce. Why this dichotomy," he
"I will start my padayatra from Anantapur district on
November 2 and continue it in Kadapa, Kurnool, Prakasam,
Guntur, Nalgonda and Khammam districts. I will tour the entire
state in a phased manner," Chandrababu added.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed
Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi to obtain reports from district
Collectors about the drought situation in the state.
Based on the reports, the government would take a
decision on declaring drought-hit mandals in a day or two,
official sources said.