Prof M. Kodandaram, chairman of the Telangana Joint Action Committee, which had led the vigorous campaign for separate Telangana state, staged a sit-in at Indira Park in Hyderabad to highlight the sufferings of farmers in the state. Kodandaram demanded that the state government come up with a comprehensive agriculture policy.
He urged the K. Chandrasekhar Rao-led government to set up an agriculture commission for the welfare of farmers and to prevent them from resorting to suicides. Even after achieving the statehood, the spate of suicides by farmers has not abated in Telangana.
During the rythu deeksha, Kodandaram alleged that the TRS government left the problems of the farmers unheeded, though 60 per cent of the people were dependent on agriculture, and the agriculture sector was the main pillar of the state economy. Recalling that the government had recently announced separate policies for industries and IT companies for their growth in the state, the TJAC chairman wanted to know why the government was not keen on bringing a similar policy for the welfare of farmers.
He wanted the state government to provide social security to farmers and demanded that the government refrain from acquiring lands indiscriminately. He also urged the government to waive off farmers' loans and control the flow of spurious seeds into the market.
Leaders of Opposition parties, intellectuals and civil rights activists visited Kodandaram and expressed their solidarity with him. As the state prepares for next elections in 2019, it remains to be seen that how the Opposition parties will try to cash in on Kodandaram's fight with the government and that how the TRS will seek to address the issue without allowing its rivals to take political gains through him.