Farmers are not beggars, frame a new agri policy: KCR urges Modi


New Delhi: Stepping up protest against the Centre's paddy procurement policy, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday gave 24 hours deadline to the Modi-government to respond if it will buy paddy from the state. f the central government fails to respond, Rao threatened to take the protest across the country. Staging a dharna along with his TRS party leaders at Telangana Bhawan here, Rao warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "Don't play with the sentiments of our farmers, they have power to topple the government." Farmers are not beggars, they have the right to seek minimum support price (MSP) for their produce, he said. "With folded hands, I urge Modiji and (Piyush) Goyal ji to respond to the state's demand on paddy procurement within 24 hours. After that, we will take a call," Rao said. Rao said if the Centre does not respond, he would further intensify the protest across the country. Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait also expressed solidarity with the CM at the day-long dharna here. This is the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) ' first protest rally in Delhi after coming to power in the state in 2014. The party MPs, MLCs, MLAs, and entire cabinet ministers sat on dharna. The TRS has intensified the protest and reached Delhi after the Central government refused Telangana's request to buy parboiled rice in the current rabi season. The Centre is saying that it can procure only raw rice and not the parboiled ones which are not consumed largely in India.