Farmers’ suicides rock Andhra Pradesh assembly

Amaravati, March 22: Farmers’ suicides rocked Andhra Pradesh state legislative assembly today with the lone opposition YSR Congress party trying to put the Telugu Desam Party government on the mat for its failure to address distress in agriculture.

The House witnesses uproarious scenes during question hour. There was heated argument between the two sides on a question asked by YSRCP member P. Ramchandra Reddy.Claiming that 961 farmers committed suicide in the state due to the indifferent attitude of the TDP government, he wanted the government to spell out how it proposed to tackle the issue.Ramchandra Reddy said if the crops in drought-hit areas could be saved by rain guns, where is the need for spending crores of rupees on building projects. The YSRCP member said farmers had debt burden of Rs.1 lakh crore but the government released a mere Rs.11,000 crore for loan waiver.

Responding to this, agriculture minister P. Pulla Rao said after TDP came to power, the ex-gratia for the families of farmers committing suicide was increased to Rs.5 lakh. He claimed that there are no problems in supply of fertilizers and seeds. Leader of opposition Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy alleged that Pulla Rao is misleading the House with false claims. He reeled out statistics to counter the government’s claims on farm loan waiver and input subsidy. YSRCP chief said the government failed to give input subsidy which was resulting in suicides by farmers. Jagan said the government was hiding the facts relating to farmers’ suicides. He pointed out that TDP had promised to waive farmers’ loans of Rs.87,612 crore but has so far released only Rs.10,000 crore. He said farmers paid Rs.48,000 crore as interest during these three years. He wanted to know how the loans can be waived by releasing Rs.3,000 crore every year.

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