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Telangana is faced with a major agrarian crisis. Farmers are being asked to switch from paddy to other crops in the rabi season because there would be no takers for paddy. The government announced on 18 October that it would open 6,500 procurement centres to purchase paddy produced during kharif. So far, the government has opened only 2,500 centres.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

The sagging morale of Telangana Rashtra Samiti workers received a boost on Thursday when its leader and Chief Minister of Telangana, K Chandrashekhar Rao, who seldom takes part in agitations and makes few public appearances, led a three-hour Maha Dharna in Hyderabad to protest the NDA government’s “anti-people policies,” failure to procure paddy from the State and the three controversial farm laws.

This was his first dharna after the formation of Telangana in June 2014. Before he ended the dharna came Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that the three farm laws would be repealed in the coming winter session of Parliament.

Dismissing the BJP’s criticism of staging the dharna despite being in power, Chandrashekhar Rao recalled Modi’s 51- hour dharna in 2006 when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. The Centre was procuring grain produced in every other State, but not in Telangana, according to Finance Minister Harish Rao. By their relentless agitation it has been proved the power of people is greater than the people in power, said KT Rama Rao, working president of the TRS.

The defeat of the TRS candidate in the recent Huzurabad by-election to the Telangana Assembly at the hands of the BJP had cast a shadow over the winning streak of Chandrashekhar Rao. It was the most expensive and bitterly fought byelection in Telangana. For the BJP, after its failure to win any seat in this year’s Kerala and Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, Huzurabad gives a ray of hope of making Telangana its gateway to the south.

Notwithstanding the Prime Minister’s promise to repeal the three farm laws, the Telangana Chief Minister warned the agitation would continue till the Centre relented and started procuring paddy and rice from Telangana on a par with Punjab. Politics apart, Telangana is faced with a major agrarian crisis. Farmers are being asked to switch from paddy to other crops in the rabi season because there would be no takers for paddy.

The government announced on 18 October that it would open 6,500 procurement centres to purchase paddy produced during kharif. So far, the government has opened only 2,500 centres. In a few districts, farmers suffered huge losses due to the recent rains as paddy stored in the open got washed away or damaged. Farmers are blocking roads and staging protests in several districts. The government’s paddy procurement drive has failed to
take off.

The government is facing the wrath of students over job notification. Unemployed youth and student organisations are restive as the government has not released any job notifications since 2018 even after the CR Biswal-led Pay Revision Commission identified nearly two lakh vacancies.

Chandrashekhar Rao announced in December last that 50,000 vacancies would be filled in three months, but no action has been taken so far. The rank and file of the TRS are yet to recover fully from the shock defeat of its candidate in the Huzurabad by-election. Unless Chandrashekhar Rao comes out more often and interacts with his party workers and cadre, the future looks bleak for the TRS which has virtually eliminated the Telugu Desam Party from the Telangana soil and rendered the Congress a lame-duck party in the State.