Chennai, Nov 9 (UNI) Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder-leader S Ramadoss today suggested that the Chief Ministers of five southern states should collectively prevail upon the Centre to announce a Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 1000 per quintal for paddy, on par with wheat.
In a statement here, he said Chief Ministers of the rice producing states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry should meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with MPs and MLAs from the states and put forward their demand.
He said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi should take the lead for meeting the Prime Minister when Parliament meets for the winter session on November 15 or before that.
Mr Karunanidhi should contact his counterparts in the southern states and lead a delegation to protect the interest of the farmers in the five states, he said.
Dr Ramadoss said it was not fair on the part of the Centre to announce a MSP of Rs 1,000 per quintal for wheat and Rs 725 and Rs 695 per quintal for two varities of paddy, when cultivation of wheat and paddy almost cost the same, including manpower.
Farmers in the South were agitated over this disparity, he said adding farmers in Andhra Pradesh had already launched steps to meet the Prime Minister and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
Tamil Nadu and other states should also not lag behind, he added.