Paddy MSP hike issue dominates both houses in AP

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Hyderabad, Nov 6 (UNI) The issue of Minimum Support Price hike for Paddy led to heated exchanges between the ruling and Opposition members in both the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, leading to their adjournment.

Initiating a debate on the issue in the Assembly, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly N Chandrababu Naidu charged the ruling Congress at the Centre and in the State with ''totally failing'' to protect the interests of farmers.

Denying the charge, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy alleged that Mr Naidu was twisting the facts. The then Narasimha Rao Government had increased the MSP for paddy on a par with wheat, he said, adding the disparity in the MSP for paddy and wheat was the handiwork of the previous BJP-led NDA Government.

The Assembly witnessed uproar when TDP members rushed to the well of the House, taking objection to Transport Minister K Lakshminaranayana comparing Mr Naidu to a ''devil quoting scriptures'' for allegedly neglecting farming during the TDP tenure and ''shedding crocodile tears'' for farmers now.

Deputy Speaker G Kutuhalamma, who was in the Chair, restored order in the House by giving a chance to TDP Legislature Party Secretary E Dayakar Rao to make his viewpoint.

Again, the Minister intervened and repeated his remarks against Mr Naidu, leading to uproarious scenes in the House. Following this, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House to meet again tomorrow.

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