TDP to step up stir for hike in MSP for paddy

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Hyderabad, Feb 16 (UNI) Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu today announced in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly that the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) would step up agitation to ensure that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accepted the recommendations of the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP).

Participating in the inconclusive debate on the motion of thanks for the Governor's address, Mr Naidu asserted ''the TDP will resort to massive agitation till the Centre accepts CACP recommendations.'' Claiming credit for the CACP recommending hike in the Minimum Support Price for paddy to Rs 1,000 per quintal for common variety and Rs 1,050 per quintal for 'A' grade variety for the 2008-09 Khariff season, he said the TDP, along with other constituents of the United National Progressive Alliance, held rallies in support of farmers in different parts of the country and took up the matter with the CACP.

The Union Government had earlier turned down the demand, claiming that if the MSP for paddy was hiked, this would lead to inflation.

Accusing the Congress Government of being ''indifferent'' to pleas of the state's peasants, he said the State Government as also Congress MPs had failed to exert pressure on the Centre ''out of fear of losing their jobs.'' The cows, given to farmers under the Chief Minister's ''Pasukranthi Pathakam'', had turned ''white elephants'' for farmers, who were finding it difficult to feed the animals, which yielded less milk.

Alleging that corruption was rampant under the Congress Regime, he maintained that people would teach a fitting lesson to it in the elections.

UNI SM VA GM BDP KN1831

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