The Union government is not keen about setting up a separate turmeric board in Telangana as there is already a Spice Board, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The Union Minister was responding to a question by Nalgonda Member of Parliament (MP) N Uttam Kumar Reddy of the Telangana Congress.
The setting up of a turmeric board is a long-pending demand by farmers in Telangana, especially the state’s Nizamabad region. Rupala said that a Spice Board already exists for 50 spices and the government was of the opinion that an exclusive board was not required for a single spice, as of now.
The Congress leader in Lok Sabha then pointed out that Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Prakash Javadekar and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav had given assurances on setting up the board along the lines of coconut and coffee boards in Telangana.
Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar also gave a written statement on Tuesday in the Rajya Sabha that there was no proposal on setting up a turmeric board in Telangana. Tomar pointed out that the Union government was not aware of any land being allocated for setting up the board at Nizamabad.
The response from the Union government also puts the Telangana BJP on the backfoot in the state. Present Nizamabad MP Dharmapuri Arvind had won the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaigning on the turmeric board plank. He had even written a promise on a bond paper that he would convince the Union government to set up a turmeric board if he was elected.
The Nizamabad MP however has changed his stance. Responding to media queries on the Union government’s stand, Arvind said that the divisional office of the Spice Board in Nizamabad has been upgraded to a Regional Office-cum-Extension Centre. Arvind claimed that the office has been given more power than the turmeric board and that the role of a dedicated turmeric board would be minimised, when the new farm laws would come into effect.