TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu has appealed to President Pratibha Patil to prevail upon Andhra Pradesh and central governments to provide liberal input subsidy to calamity-hit farmers in the state.
In a letter handed over to Patil at Rashtrapati Nilayam (Presidential retreat) here by TDP and Left leaders this evening, Naidu claimed more than 150 farmers either committed suicide or died of heart attack in the last 15 days in the state due to crop loss.
"Crops that were ready for harvest in over 50 lakh acres were completely destroyed in heavy rains early this month. But the state government miserly announced input subsidy of only Rs 6,000 per hectare, which is grossly insufficient," the Leader of the Opposition said.
There was no mechanism in place to ensure minimum support price for the damaged produce, forcing farmers into distress sale, he said and sought the President's intervention to ensure proper marketing through government agencies.
The TDP chief said he had undertaken an indefinite hunger strike seeking justice for farmers but he was forcibly shifted to hospital and administered fluids.
Meanwhile, a meeting of opposition parties decided to organise a `rythu garjana' (roar of farmers) at Guntur on December 30 to bring pressure on the state government and the Centre to address the farmers' issues immediately, according to TDP politburo member K Yerran Naidu.
A delegation of Opposition MPs, MLCs and MLAs also met Patil, who is in the city, and explained the miseries of farmers in the state.