Vijayawada, Oct 10 (UNI) The BJP today asked the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre to announce a Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 1,000 per quintal for rice that is equal to wheat MSP.
Addressing the press here, BJP State President Bandaru Dattatreya criticised the Centre for fixing the support price for rice at Rs 695 per quintal against Rs 620 last year and Grade A rice at Rs 725 per quintal, including Rs 50 as incentive bonus.
The BJP leader said the hike in MSP was announced only with an eye on garnering votes in the northern states in the backdrop of a possiblity of mid-term elections to the Lok Sabha.
He alleged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, 'after knowing fully well the Congress would lose many Lok Sabha seats in the South,' had not evinced interest in the plea of the farmers from the South for hike in MSP of rice.
Mr Dattatreya said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and 76 Members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu also failed in exerting pressure on the Centre for increasing the MSP on paddy.
He suggested Dr Reddy immediately meet the Prime Minister on the issue and save the farmers.
The BJP would stage dharna at Hyderabad on October 15 and party cadre would lay siege to collectors' offices in all the districts in the state besides holding dharnas the next day.
Mr Dattatreya appealed to Dr Reddy to proceed to New Delhi along with Chief Ministers of Southern States for meeting the Prime Minister requesting him to announce renumerative price for sugarcane and turmeric.
The Centre announced the 'highest-ever' hike in the MSP of wheat at Rs 1,000 per quintal for the coming Rabi Season yesterday as against Rs 850 a quintal last year in the face of criticism on importing wheat at Rs 1,600 per quintal, he claimed.