New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) Cutting across party lines, majority of the members in the Rajya Sabha today demanded an increase in minimum support price (MSP) for paddy up to Rs 1000 a quintal, on par with MSP for wheat.
Mr Ravula Chandra Sekar Reddy of TDP, supported by other members of the House, raised the issue through special mention, demanding equal MSP for both wheat and paddy saying that farmers in Andhra Pradesh were committing suicides as they were not getting proper remunerative price for the paddy and suffering losses.
Mr Reddy urged the Union Government to announce the increase in MSP for paddy without any delay to save the farmers from penury.
Mr D Raja (CPI) spoke about the plight of paddy growing farmers all over the country and said farmers in Tamil Nadu have announced an agitation on November 27, demanding higher MSP for paddy.
He urged the CACP to come out with announcement of Rs 1000 per quintal MSP for paddy without further delay.
Other members observed paddy growing also involves risk factors like weather vagaries.
Mr Shantaram Naik of the Congress mentioned the molestation of some girl students from Goa on their way to Rajasthan in a train in the last week of October. The girls disclosed the incident after returning to Goa recently.
He said about 200 youth entered the train at Dausa and molested the girls and even the female teachers accompanying them. Some of them even musterbated in front of the girls and attacked them.
Mr Naik said the culprits were absconding, and requested the Rajasthan Government and railway security forces to apprehend the accused soon and institute an inquiry into the matter.
Mr Nebam Rebia (INC) spoke about the Chinese intrusion in Arunachal Pradesh and cited the example of demolition of Buddha statue in October.
He said nothing has come out from the Government in this regard.
''Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India,'' he added.
Mr Rebia demanded the government should clarify its position over the issue.
Mr Gyan Prakash Pilania (BJP) spoke in detail about the alarming scenario of female foeticide in the country and demanded steps to prevent the same.
Ms Prema Cariappa of the Congress demanded setting up of old age homes in Karnataka and their proper upkeep besides separate old age homes for women with basic needs.
Mr Vijay Darda of the Congress stressed the need for setting up a Supreme Court bench at Nagpur, which is centrally located, to dispose of the cases speedily.
Mr Shantaram Laxman also of Congress demanded waiving of Service Tax on computer education making it affordable for all the people.
Mr M V Mysura Reddy of TDP recommended taking effective steps for merger of four public sector insurance companies in the national interest.
Mr Jai Prakash Aggarwal of the Congress stressed the need for setting up standards for the symbolic language for deaf in India and demanded recognition of Sign Language at the earliest for these people.
Mr Kalraj Mishra of Bharatiya Janata Party expressed concern over apathy towards the Sanskrit language.
Mr Mishra said this language is being adopted in a big way in other countries and if not taken care in time, it would soon become ''history''.