The ongoing war of words between the ruling TRS and BJP over paddy procurement in Telangana escalated on Monday, November 15, with workers of the two parties clashing by pelting stones at each other during state BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar's visit to paddy procurement centres in Nalgonda district. The TRS called a meeting of its MLAs and MLCs on Tuesday to chart out its future course of action on the issue. Mild tension prevailed during Kumar's visit in Nalgonda district with police having to resort to lathi charge to disperse TRS cadre and BJP workers who indulged in stone pelting in Miryalaguda, police said.
Earlier, the TRS cadre allegedly threw eggs and tomatoes on the convoy of Sanjay Kumar who was on a visit to Nalgonda and Suryapet districts to assess paddy procurement and to interact with the farmers. In the stone-pelting that took place after Sanjay Kumar's visit in Nalgonda district, few members of both the parties and two policemen suffered minor injuries, a senior police official told PTI.
Alleging that the BJP-led NDA government at the Union government followed double standards on paddy procurement in Telangana and created confusion among people, the TRS said a meeting of its Legislature Party would be held on Tuesday, November 16, to discuss the issue and prepare a plan of action. The meeting, to be chaired by party president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, would be held Tuesday evening, it said.
On Monday, Sanjay Kumar visited paddy procurement centers in Nalgonda district and alleged that farmers have been waiting at such places for many days now without proper food and rest. The Chief Minister had earlier promised officials would come to the fields, buy paddy and deposit money in farmers' bank accounts within 48 hours, he claimed. Demanding that the state government procured the paddy produced in the rainy season without delay, he said the BJP would not rest until the TRS government specified as to when it is going to purchase the crop and pay the ryots.
TRS MLA Kancharla Bhupal Reddy said the state government is ready to purchase the paddy produced during the rainy season and demanded Kumar make a statement that the NDA government would procure the coming 'yasangi' (summer) season crop like in the past. Another police official said there was one incident of stone pelting on Sanjay Kumar's convoy in Suryapet in which the windshield of a vehicle was damaged. The official, however, said it was not clear if stones were pelted by TRS workers.
The ruling party workers protested Kumar's visit and raised slogans, holding black flags even as some of them also tried to obstruct the BJP leader's convoy. However, the police prevented them from doing so. The BJP leaders had not taken any permission nor there was any prior intimation to police on Sanjay Kumar's visit to Nalgonda, the official said adding the election code is in force for MLC elections.
Police were in the process of registering cases against those TRS cadre and BJP members who were involved in stone pelting, besides Sanjay Kumar for not obtaining permission and for alleged violation of code of conduct. The TRS organised protests across the state on Friday last alleging the NDA government refused to procure paddy in the state during the coming summer crop season.
Taking exception to TRS holding dharnas against the BJP and the NDA government over the issue, party leader and Union Minister G Kishan Reddy on Saturday asked how can the Union government be called anti-farmer when it has heavily increased rice procurement from the state since it assumed office in 2014. TRS president and Chief Minister Rao, who sought procurement of entire paddy grown in the state by the Union government, said on November 7 that his party would raise the issue in parliament.