Chandrababu begins indefinite fast for farmer relief

Friday, December 17, 2010

HYDERABAD - Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and leader of opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu Friday began an indefinite fast here demanding that the government provide immediate relief to farmers who have lost their crops in the recent rains.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief launched the fast at the New MLA Quarters after paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Babasaheb Ambedkar and TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao.

Some women legislators and senior leaders of the TDP are also sitting on the fast with Naidu. It is the first indefinite fast by Naidu, who was the chief minister from 1995 to 2004.

Talking to reporters, Naidu said his fast was aimed at getting justice for farmers, who suffered huge losses due to a series of natural calamities this year.

The TDP president is demanding Rs.10,000 per acre compensation for every farmer whose paddy crop was damaged. He also wants Rs.15,000 per acre compensation for commercial crops.

“We made every effort to make the government understand the misery of farmers and come to their rescue. Since the government remained indifferent, I had no other option but to go on indefinite fast,” he said.

The leader of opposition termed as meagre the relief package announced by the Congress government in the winter session of the assembly, which concluded Thursday. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has announced Rs.6,000 per acre compensation in the form of input subsidy for all major crops.

TDP leaders in various districts also began relay hunger strikes and protests to express their solidarity with Naidu.

Leaders of the ruling Congress party and other opposition parties like Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) alleged that Naidu’s fast was aimed at coming to power.

Filed under: Politics

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