Hyderabad, Oct 16 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) today ridiculed the statement of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu that he would work for the welfare of farmers in the state, saying that it was only to gain political mileage.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters 'Gandhi Bhavan' here, party spokesperson N Tulasi Reddy said ''it is astonishing that Mr Naidu is shedding crocodile tears on the plight of farmers when he totally neglected agriculture and welfare of farmers during his nine-year rule in the state.'' He said the annual budgetory allocation for the agriculture and irrigation sectors was only 20.54 per cent when Mr Naidu was in power in 2003-04 as against 54 per cent earmarked by the Congress government, headed by Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, in 2006-07.
Mr Reddy said the state government had spent Rs 19,010 crore during the last three years as against Rs 10,348 crore spent by the TDP during its nine-year regime.
Denying Mr Naidu's allegations that the State Government was not pressurising the Centre for providing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy on a par with wheat, he said the APCC and the Andhra Pradesh government were asking the Centre to provide Rs 1,000 per quintal MSP for paddy on a par with wheat and the Chief Minister had held discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.
Mr Reddy said his government had initiated several welfare schemes for the benefit of farmers and to increase agricultural production.