Challo Delhi programme on Feb 26

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Vijayawada, Feb 13 (UNI) Aiming for mounting pressure on the Centre to increase the minimum support price (msp) of Rs 1,000 for per quintal of paddy and other agricultural crops, various farmers organisations in the country will organise a 'Challo Delhi' programme on February 26, AIKS Vice-President Kolli Nageswara Rao said here.

Announcing this at a press conference today, he said about 2,000 farmers from the state were likely to participate in the programme.

He said the Centre had ony announced a bonus of Rs 50 each in two spells after the farmers launched a unified struggle on the issue and the price of the paddy per quintal was hiked to Rs 775 only so far including the bonus.

Demanding that the Centre should write off farm loans up to Rs one lakh Mr Rao demanded that Centre shoud implement the recommendations put forward by noted agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan.

Though the UNPA had given a call for 'Challo Delhi' programme on February 26, the farmers would conduct agitation at a different place in the national capital without having any connection with UNPA programme, he added.

Mr Rao, who was also the Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangham (APRS) President, lamented that despite Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy writing letters to the Centre and later speaking with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the msp issue, the Centre was 'adamant' to hike the msp for paddy to Rs 1,000 a quintal, on par with wheat.

He said in the US, there was a rapid increase in the agricultural subsidies provided while the Indian Government was reducing it bowing to the pressure from the World Bank.

UNI CS GKT 1638

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