Turmeric farmers take ballot route to solve troubles

K Kavitha

Over 180 turmeric and 'red jowar' (sorghum) farmers are in the fray here to highlight the "failure" of the Centre and the state governments to ensure remunerative prices for their produce.

The ruling TRS nominee and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter K Kavitha, the sitting MP, is among the contestants in the constituency.

"We actually aimed to get at least 1,000 nominations. However, we are here to stay and not withdrawing," P Praveen Kumar, a representative of the farmers' association, as well as a Lok Sabha candidate, said.

The farmers are demanding Rs 15,000 MSP per quintal of turmeric compared to the Rs 5,000 they are getting now.

According to state Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar, out of the 699 nominations filed all over the state for the 17 Loksabha segments, 245 were filed in Nizamabad.

While some of them withdrew nominations, 185 have finally stayed in the contest. With a huge number of contenders in elections in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha, the Election Commission is now mulling the use of ballot papers.

The sitting MP, who allegedly failed to convince the Centre to alleviate the problems of the farmers of her constituency, said the farmers have no other choice than to rise their voice.

"Yes, it is high time to let the whole of India know the hardships that a turmeric farmer goes through in his life. The BJP government, which boasts about their farmer-centric schemes should first and foremost know the plight of farmers. The desired solution can be achieved only when turmeric farmers stand for themselves," Kavitha told DH.

"We want there to be 1,000 nominations to be filed by turmeric farmers. TRS has stood with turmeric farmers in the past as well and will be there for them always. The party has raised the demand of the National Turmeric Board in Parliament and will keep on doing the same till our demands are fulfilled," the 28-year-old MP said.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, Kalvakuntla Kavitha won from the seat with 4, 39,307 votes. She was followed by Indian National Congress leader Madhu Yaskhi Goud and BJP's Endala Lakshminarayana.

Now the contest is mainly between Kavitha, two-time MP Madhu Yashki Goud and Dharmapuri Arvind of BJP.

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Turmeric farmers take ballot route to solve troubles

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