AP Minister urges EC to reconsider its decision

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Hyderabad, May 8 (UNI) Expressing displeasure over the Election Commission (EC) directing the Andhra Pradesh government not to hold 'Rythu Chaitanya Yatras' in the districts where bypolls were scheduled for May 29, state Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy today urged the EC to reconsider its decision for the benefit of farmers.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the EC had asked the state government not to hold 'Rythu Chaitanya Yatras' to be conducted from May 17 in the state.

''It is unfortunate the EC has not taken the welfare of the farmers into consideration. It is not a political activity. It is a capacity-building activity for the farmers, which is being conducted for the last three years,'' he said.

Though the government had not received any written direction from the Commission so far, the officials had already written to the apex electoral body to reconsider their decision, he added.

The minister claimed that the programme, every year before Kharif season, was to provide technical knowledge on the crops to nearly 1.20 lakh farmer families in the state. During the programme, the government officials would visit every village to create awareness among the farmers and give guidance on the crops cultivation suitable for their land, he said.

He said the main aim of the government was to improve the agriculture production in the state as it had achieved 9.78 per cent agricultural growth last year.

Through 'Rythu Chaitanya Yatras,' the government intends to provide technical extension and dissemination of information to the farmers and not to distribute any inputs or implements to the farmers, he said, adding, the officials of various departments would involve in the programme and provide necessary information to the farmers.

UNI BR VA SV AS1856

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