You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

TJAC, opposition to protest order on farmer coordination committees in Telangana

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-09-2017 Yunus Y. Lasania

Hyderabad: The Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) and opposition parties will conduct protests in villages across the state on 3 October against the implementation of a government order which proposes to constitute farmer coordination committees with nominated members

Stating that the committees—called Rythu Samanvaya Samithis—will be used by the ruling TRS to nominate people affiliated to the party, TJAC chairman Prof. M. Kodandaram said, “The protests will be held in every village. These committees will be used to decide issues pertaining to farmers. But the constitution says that these powers must be given to the Gram Panchayats.”

The TJAC was floated towards the end of 2009 as a vehicle for all political leaders who supported Telangana’s statehood to work together and achieve their goal. Prof. Kodandaram was earlier its convenor and later chairman. After the state’s formation in 2014, it became an apolitical body but Prof. Kodandaram then trained his guns on the TRS government over a host of issues. This is one of the few times when political parties have once again joined hands with the TJAC post the state’s formation in 2014.

Kodandaram pointed out that Gram Panchayats and other village-level institutions exist to decide on farmer-related issues. As of now, all opposition political parties, including the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have decided to stand together and protest against the government order, GO 39.

GO 39, passed a few weeks ago, has drawn a lot of criticism from opposition parties and been challenged in the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana high court in Hyderabad.

Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced the formation of these committees in May after angry chilli farmers ransacked the Khammam agricultural market yard owing to the price of chilli crashing by nearly Rs10,000 this year. Rao had said that Rs500 crore would be given to the committees to tackle such situations.

“Taking cognizance of the politicization of these committees, the high court stayed the disbursement of Rs500 crore, and directed the government file counter affidavit in cases filed challenging the GO 39,” said BJP spokesperson A. Rakesh Reddy. He added that GO 39 undermines the 73th constitutional amendment which empowers Gram Panchayats.

Both Reddy and Kodandaram said that the TRS might involve the farmer committees in schemes like the ongoing land survey and rectification of agricultural records (in over 10,000 revenue villages of the state) and the input subsidy scheme of Rs4,000 per acre (for each farmer).

N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, president, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee, claimed that the TRS is trying to strengthen itself through the farmer coordination committees.

The Congress in Telangana is mobilizing party cadres through a 100-day programme called the ‘Indiramma Rythu Bata’ (Indira farmers’ roadmap), and has been opposing GO 39 in meetings with farmers.

Other opposition parties like the Communist party of India (CPI) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have also joined hands with the TJAC in fighting against the implementation of GO 39.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon