TDP to intensify stir in support of farmers: Naidu

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Hyderabad, Feb 20 (UNI) Maintaining that unbearable debt burden was responsible for over 5,000 farmers committing suicide, Leader of the Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu today asserted in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly that his party would wage a relentless struggle till the Union Government agreed to write off the loans of farmers secured from not only cooperative but also from commercial banks.

The TDP would also agitate to press for hike in the Minimum Support Price for Paddy to Rs 1,000 and other crops, he said while seeking clarifications from State Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on his reply to the Motion of Thanks for the Governor's address.

Finding fault with Dr Reddy for changing his stand on writing off farm loans, he said, ''We will not leave the farmers at the mercy of the government or fate. We will stand by them and fight till the Centre agreed to write off their loans.'' He demanded Dr Reddy to exert pressure on the Centre demanding implementation of the recommendations of the M S Swaminathan Committee for the betterment of farmers.

Reiterating he had not dubbed farming as a ''mere waste,'' he said only Congress ministers had passed damaging remarks.

Alleging rampant corruption in infrastructure projects including irrigation, he demanded the recovery of Rs 349.85 crore from the contractor awarded with implementation of the Yellampalli Project in wake of the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General and his prosecution.

He wanted to know why the Congress Government was not taking any punitive action against the contractor awarded with construction of the Panjagutta Flyover which collapsed killing two people.

UNI SM MS DB2041

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