Nizamabad farmers protest as BJP MP betrays poll promise of setting up Turmeric Board

Arvind Dharmapuri confessed that he made the poll promise only with the intention to defeat KCR and MP Kavitha.
Nizamabad farmers protest as BJP MP betrays poll promise of setting up Turmeric Board
Nizamabad farmers protest as BJP MP betrays poll promise of setting up Turmeric Board

It was Nizamabad BJP MP Arvind Dharmapuri’s poll promise – the establishment of a Turmeric Board within five days of assuming office. In the run-up to the Lok Sabha Elections, he vowed to resign if he failed to do so, even signing a bond paper. But eight months after being voted to power, Arvind Dharmapuri has betrayed his electoral promise, leaving the farmers infuriated.  

Addressing the media on Sunday, Arvind likened the concept of the Turmeric Board to an “old Ambassador car” and said that turmeric cannot be given the status of a national crop, as it is a “regional crop”. “Only 48,000 hectares of turmeric is grown across the country,” he said. 

He said that the existing Spices Board, Cotton Board, Tea Board and others were a failure, hence he would get a better “A++” sort of a model wherein turmeric would be promoted under Trade Infrastructure for Export Schemes (TIES) and Clusters schemes under the Ministry of Commerce. The MP added that turmeric would be promoted, prices regulated, funds would be received in excess, under this model. 

When questioned about why he made a promise which he couldn’t fulfill, Arvind confessed, “I did not study so much about it then. My only intention was to defeat KCR and his daughter Kavitha-- and to work for the growth of BJP,” and added, “I did not know that Turmeric Board would become such a national issue.”

The agitation for establishing the Turmeric Board made national news during the 2019 Parliamentary Elections after nearly 178 farmers contested in the elections, to highlight their plight. Piggybacking on the agitation against the then MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha, Arvind had made the promises. 

Angered by the MP’s betrayal, turmeric farmers under the banner ‘Rythu Aikya Karyacharana Samithi’ on Monday began a three-day “Athma Gourava Padayatra” walkathon for 50 kilometers in the district. The protest began on Monday and would conclude on Wednesday.

Speaking to TNM, Anwesh Reddy, Telangana Congress Kisan Chairman said, “Presently, we have launched a three-day padayatra covering the district. We are gathering signatures from the farmers seeking their support for establishing the board as promised by the MP and mobilizing the farmers.”

Anwesh added that they would intensify the struggle in the days to come. “We will soon come up with a plan for a sustained campaign to establish the board,” he said.

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