Still waiting for assurance on paddy procurement: Minister

TRS delegation decides to stay back in Delhi as Centre promises to address the issue in two days

A delegation of Ministers led by Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy, which left for New Delhi on Saturday to meet Union Ministers and, if possible, Prime Minister Narendra Modi — seeking a written assurance from the Centre that it would purchase the entire paddy cultivated in Telangana in the recent kharif — stay put in the capital even after Food Minister Piyush Goyal expressed displeasure at the visiting team.

Energy Minister G. Jagadish Reddy said that they decided to stay back because the Centre promised to address the issue in two days. They are ready to return to the State if the Centre gives written assurance, he said.

Speaking to reporters at New Delhi on Wednesday, the Minister said though the Centre has assured to procure more than 40 lakh tonnes of rice, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials have been telling that they have not received any orders in this regard.

“The Centre is asking why only Telangana has problem in paddy procurement. The paddy production in the State is like never before and that is why we are asking for additional procurement. Agreement was signed for 40 lakh metric tonnes. Though the target was completed, excess produce is lying in market yards, drying platforms and there is also the crop yet to be harvested,” he said, adding that the BJP has been trying to create a wedge among the farmers and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and it was not possible.

Referring to the allegations levelled by the Congress leaders that about ₹16,000 crore corruption took place in the State, the Minister wondered why they were silent in the Parliament.

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