A heated exchange between the MP and the farmers recently, with the latter alleging negligence and delay in setting up of a turmeric board,

Farmers arguing with MP Arvind Dharmapuri over Turmeric Board in the region Image: By arrangement
news Controversy Monday, January 25, 2021 - 14:24

Turmeric farmers in Telangana’s Nizamabad are up in arms against BJP Member of Parliament (MP) Dharmapuri Arvind after a face off with the latter during a recent meeting at Kammarpally mandal in the constituency under the banner of Rythu Aikya Vedika (Farmer’s Union Forum) on Sunday. The heated exchange took place between the MP and the in the backdrop of allegations of negligence and delay in setting up of a turmeric board, a long-standing demand among farmers in the region. The MP was forced to leave as the event’s participants began raising slogans against him.

In the 2019 general elections, sitting MP Arvind promised to get the Union government to set up a turmeric board, while assuring farmers that he would resign if he failed to get the same within five days. Speaking to TNM, farmers said that they plan to stage protests wherever the MP visits, if he fails to establish a turmeric board and Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the crop soon.

Several parts in the Nizamabad parliament segment are known for turmeric production. Establishing a turmeric board has been a long standing demand from the farmers in the region as it would aid the problems that the turmeric farmers face.

Padigela Praveen Reddy from Hasakothur of Kammarpally is a turmeric farmer with five acres of land who contested for the Nizamabad Lok Sabha seat in 2019 elections along with 169 other farmers. The farmers had filed their candidature in protest against successive representatives failing to establish a turmeric board. He was present at Sunday’s event. “He (Arvind) left amid our slogans demanding his resignation as he failed to get us a turmeric board. He said that he was doing enough,” Praveen said.

Another turmeric farmer and former candidate, Sunketa Ravi, said that they were agitated that they were not getting a turmeric board in the region even though many crop seasons had passed since the election. 

“Since elections, we have got three crops. We asked for the board beside Rs 10,000 as MSP. The MP was saying that he was working for a platform that is better than the turmeric board, while claiming that the grants from the Spices Board too had increased. He said that it will take two to three years,” Ravi said.

The farmers, when asked about their plan of action in the coming days, said that the MP's response was not what they were hoping for. Ravi said “As he was the one who promised us the board, we have decided to see if there is an announcement about turmeric board or MSP. Otherwise, we will stop and protest at any event he attends.”

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