Uppuluru, Oct 19 (UNI) Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP Supremo N Chandrababu Naidu today called upon farmers to gear up for a protracted struggle against the 'anti-farmer' policies of the Centre and the Rajasekhara Reddy Government in the state.
Addressing a public meeting here after launching the ''Yeruvaka,'' an agitaion for securing higher price for paddy in Krishna District, Mr Naidu said though there were rains for the last three and half years, farmers were not getting proper support price for their produce.
He said farmers were cultivating paddy in 40 lakh acres by spending Rs 12,000 per acre and if there was no crop they would suffer.
Mr Naidu demanded the UPA Government at the Centre to hike the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy to Rs 1,000 per quintal on par with wheat. The farmers' demand for hike in MSP for paddy was not only in the state but the entire country, he added.
Mr Naidu said he had written three letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue, but there was no response.
''If needed, I will meet the Prime Minister,'' he added.
The results of the economic reforms initiated by his government had not reached grassroot level, he alleged.
Mr Naidu announced that if his party comes back to power, it would provide farm loans at 'pavala', 25 paise, interest. The party would also waive cooperative society loans for those who could not repay it.
During the last four years, about 4,500 peasants had ended their lives due to mounting debts, he alleged.
If TDP comes to power, it would earmark Rs 1,000 crore for farmers. Mr Naidu also assured the farmers that power charges would also be reduced.