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27 Farmers from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana File Nominations Against PM Modi in Varanasi

On April 25, a group of farmers cultivating turmeric in Telangana’s Nizamabad district had left for Uttar Pradesh to file their nominations from the Varanasi as independents.

PV Ramana Kumar | News18

Updated:May 1, 2019, 3:16 PM IST
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27 Farmers from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana File Nominations Against PM Modi in Varanasi
Photo for representation.

Hyderabad: A total of 27 farmers from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have filed their nominations from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election for a second term.

The farmers decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections in a bid to register their protest on issues related to agriculture and to draw the country’s attention towards their plight.

On April 25, a group of 54 farmers cultivating turmeric in Telangana’s Nizamabad district had left for Uttar Pradesh in a special bus to file their nominations from the Varanasi parliamentary constituency as independents. The farmers told News18 that they want to highlight their demand for constitution of a turmeric board to ensure remunerative prices for their harvest.

Of the 54 Telangana farmers, only 25 could file their nominations, and of the total five farmers from Andhra Pradesh’s Kanigiri village, only two farmers filed their nominations, taking the total count to 27. The farmers alleged that local officials did not support them and BJP leaders threatened them to not file their nominations.

“We wanted a local proposer to file the nominations. BJP leaders threatened those who went for the proposal signature. Some of them were signed and we could file our nominations,” said Tirupati Reddy, a farmer from Armoor in Nizamabad district who filed his nomination on April 25.

The farmers claimed that the poll officials did not let the nominations get filed in the democratic manner. “The officials asked us to pay challan by depositing the amount in a bank. We paid the money and came back but they rejected our nomination saying ‘time is over’,” rued Ganga Reddy, who could not file his nomination.

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter and incumbent Nizamabad MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha faced a tough challenge as over 178 farmers fought the poll battle against Kavitha.

Farmers said they decided to contest as are not getting the support price for Turmeric and Red Sorghum even after staging protests for over two months.

“We are protesting irrespective of the parties. Our people fought against the TRS and now they are fighting against the BJP and Prime Minister Modi. We know we will not win the elections. Our contest will draw the nation’s attention and hopefully there will be a solution to our problems,” said Kotapati Nageswar Rao, a leader of farmers.

Inspiration by the Telangana, five farmers from ‘Velugonda Project Udhyama Samiti’ in Andha Pradesh’s Prakasam also filed their nominations from Varanasi.

Velugonda irrigation is a long-pending project. The farmers here allege that the government is not keen on completing the project.

“The project has been pending for decades. Of course, it is the responsibility of the state government. We want to draw the attention of the nation towards our problems and get them resolved. Contesting against PM Modi is our way of lodging a peaceful protest,” said Srinivas, another farmer.

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