Nizamabad: Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter and incumbent Nizamabad MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha, who is seeking a re-election is facing a tough challenge as over 180 farmers have filed their nominations against Kavitha.
Farmers have decided to enter the poll fray and contest as they allege that they are not getting the support price for Turmeric and Red Sorghum even after staging protests for over two months.
The Nizamabad parliamentary constituency consists of Armoor, Bodhan, Nizamabad (Urban), Nizamabad (Rural), Balkonda, Korutla and Jagityal assembly segments.
All the assembly segments were won by ruling TRS in the recent elections. Based on the astounding success, TRS office-bearers thought that the win in Lok Sabha elections will be a cake walk. But the huge number of nominations are creating a headache for Kavitha.
“Though agro distress is there, I don’t think the anger is so much that it can defeat the ruling party,” said a Mahender, a Nizamabad based journalist.
In major parts of Nizamabad parliamentary segment, farmers cultivate Turmeric and Red Sorghum as the main crop. Last year, the government purchased turmeric for Rs 2300 per quintal but stopped it, saying that they got about Rs 100 crore loss due to the procurement.
With the government decision, middlemen and businessmen have started purchasing the same for a much lesser price, around Rs 1,700.
Farmers are demanding to increase the MSP of Red Sorghum to Rs 4,500. Out of 185 nominations for Nizamabad, 178 were filed by farmers.
“We are in the contest to highlight our problems. We are not supporting any political party. We are actually thinking to select a farmer among us and supporting him. We have three lakh plus votes of farmer families,” said Praveen, a farmer who filed his nomination from Argul village.
He also stated that the election commission has not yet given clarity on symbols allotted.
Meanwhile, Kavitha she met Yoga guru Ramdev and requested him to purchase Turmeric from the farmers of her constituency.
In his campaign trail in Nizamabad, KCR blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the agrarian distress.
“The nominations that have been filed by farmers are a mark of protest against the national parties, and not on us. Farmers want to bring this issue to the national narrative. We need a permanent solution and that is why there are so many nominations,” told Kavitha.
Slamming KCR and TRS, AICC spokesperson and Congress’ candidate Madhu Yashki Goud said, “The CM publicizes himself as being farmer friendly and ‘Raitu Bandhu’. Is it the way of behaving with farmers. People of Nizamabad will teach a lesson to the ruling party in the elections. We will do the justice to them after coming to power.”
Dharmapuri Aravind, son of TRS Rajya Sabha member and former PCC president D Srinivas, is contesting on BJP symbol.
Reacting on the development, Aravind said, “Again the BJP will form the government in the Centre.
I will bring Turmeric Board to my constituency. This elections are between Congress and BJP. The people gave chance to TRS but they could not do anything.”
It should be noted that the TRS top leadership had promised in 2014 elections that it will take over the Nizam Sugar Factories (NSF) located in Medak, Metpally and Bodhan, along with the Turmeric board.
In 2015, NSF completely closed and since then, the employees are unhappy.
“We lost our employment. Our people are working as security guards or construction labourers, with less wages. Even we have not received pending salaries of four months” said Nagula Ravi Shankar Goud, Mazdur union general secretary of Bodhan NSF.