An interview with Sudharani, the woman farmer who has become a cause of worry for TDP
Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 10, 2015 | 9:35 am IST Boyapati Sudharani is a farmer from Krishnayapalem village in tullur mandal who was once a strong supporter of the ruling Telugu Desam Party but now finds herself strongly opposing the land pooling scheme. "I too voted for TDP, but now, the state government has brought the CRDA. They have the right to take away our land now. We only have voted for Chandrababu Naidu and brought it upon ourselves" she says, as she is close to tears. A video of her, protesting against the collection of fertile lands for the new capital of Andhra Pradesh has gone viral and sees itself doing rounds on Facebook and WhatsApp. "I never thought the video would go viral. However, the things i said were true and we are suffering because of the unjust landpooling for the capital" Sudharani told The News Minute. Sudharani in the video, protests against the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Bill-2014 which was introduced in the assembly by AP Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister P Narayana in December. The CRDA is responsible for the land pooling scheme and everything related to the development of the capital region. The bill gives CRDA the authority to acquire, sell, transfer or grant license for the purpose of development of the land. The bill also allows the state government to constitute the CRDA with the chief minister as chairman. "If Chandrababu Naidu was really farmer friendly, he would not have brought in the CRDA in the first place. If someone can arrange it, i'm willing to talk to the CRDA commissioner or Naidu" Sudharani adds. Sudharani has a daughter who is preparing for the civil service exam and a younger son who is also studying. "30,000 per annum offered by the government is insufficient to even pay the power bills" she says. "The police also came to our house when we were away and took down my phone number. We do not have the freedom to express ourselves also" she adds,speaking to TNM over the phone. However, she was quick to add that there was no political pressure of any kind on her or her family. The Andhra Pradesh government and the CRDA earlier announced that they would not allow the cultivation of a new crop by farmers for the next season in the proposed 30,000 acres in 29 villages required for the new capital. The CRDA will initially take the land from farmers, who are willing to participate in the land pooling scheme. Each team will cover about 1000 acres of land. Notices are issued to all the farmers and if there is no response to the notice within a fortnight, it will be considered that the farmer is willing to part with the land. Sudharani claims that farmers cannot shun cultivation like that as it is their only source of income and adds that this move by the TDP led government would only aggravate the suffering of the farmers. This comes as CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury strongly criticized Naidu's move of taking over agricultural land for the proposed capital while addressing the inaugural session of the two-day AP state conference of the party in Vijayawada on Sunday Even the chief opposition party YSR Congress, has been coming down heavily on the TDP regime for the scheme labeling it 'Anti- poor.' A Facebook page has also been started in the farmer's support titled Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“We support Boyapati Sudharani ChowdaryĂ˘â‚¬Âť which shows two videos of her anguish against the land pooling scheme which are now being largely circulated in the social media. The Facebook page of 'We Support Boyapati Sudharani' can be found here. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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