Chennai, Oct 23 (UNI) All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Secretary J Jayalalithaa today demanded that the Centre fix the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy at Rs 1,000 per quintal.
In a statement here, she said it was saddening to note that the Centre had hiked the MSP for paddy from Rs 620 to just Rs 645, while increasing that of wheat from Rs 850 to Rs 1,000. ''The partisan attitude of the Centre went against the interests of South India farmers, particularly those from Tamil Nadu,'' she noted.
Ms Jayalalithaa, quoting farmers' associations, said the production cost for a quintal of paddy was presently Rs 950 to Rs 1,000 as the prices of inputs had gone up.
As the farmers could not fetch the right price for their produce, many were pushed to the brink and took solace in ending their lives.
Besides, large tracts of fertile lands in the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu, Thanjavur, were left barren, she added.
Coming down heavily on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for doing ''precious little'' on the issue despite his party, DMK, being a part of the UPA Government at the Centre, she asked why he had not demanded that the Centre hike MSP for paddy on a par with wheat.