KCR’s daughter fell to their plight, now, they are upset with Nizamabad BJP MP
Turmeric growers from Nizamabad widely credited for engineering the shock defeat of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter Kalvakuntla Kavitha in the last Lok Sabha polls are now mobilising against the sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MP Dharmapuri Arvind for ignoring their cause.
Arvind has reasons to be worried as he had given an undertaking on a bond paper to resign as an MP if he could not get a turmeric board set up, as desired by the farmers, within a week of his election. He hasn’t fulfilled his promise even after six months.
For the last three days, hundreds of turmeric growers under the banner of Rythu Aikya Karyacharana Samithi (Joint Action Committee of farmers) undertook “Atma Gaurava Padayatra” (foot march for self-respect) upping the ante over their unfulfilled demand for the turmeric board which they claim would help with monitoring of turmeric production and ensure remunerative price for the crop.
“In a couple of months from now, we are going to get the turmeric crop again. All these days, we have been patiently waiting for the MP to respond to the farmers’ demand. So, we decided to step up the pressure on him,” Telangana Congress Kisan chairman Sunketa Anwesh Reddy said.
Telangana accounts for one third—the largest in the country-- of the total 48,000 hectares under turmeric cultivation.
The Turmeric growers in Nizamabad and Jagitial districts had been agitating for remunerative prices for the last couple of years unsuccessfully. The raised the stakes in the Lok Sabha polls with 178 farmers filing nominations against Kavitha from Nizamabad parliamentary constituency. It is believed to be the main reason for Kavitha’s loss by over 50,000 votes. Some of the turmeric farmers also attempted to file nominations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.
Arvind admitted he had promised a turmeric board to farmers but realised it may not become a reality since the amount of land under Turmeric cultivation was much below the level required for the constitution of the board.
“For the last five months, I have been discussing with the officials at the Centre to work out a better package than what a Turmeric board could have possibly offered farmers,” he said.
He said the proposed package was likely to be announced within a month and would see Turmeric promoted under the Trade Infrastructure for Export Schemes (TIES) and Clusters schemes under the Ministry of Commerce.
“This would help in the promotion of turmeric as an export-oriented product with regulated prices resulting in high remunerative prices for the crop,” he said.