TRS MPs to boycott rest of winter session of Parliament over paddy procurement and other farmer-related issues

Published : December 08, 2021 11:25 IST

TRS MPs in Parliament House, on December 7. Photo: KAMAL SINGH/PTI

The TRS’ parliamentary party leader K. Keshava Rao said that they had "no other option" and that the party would now take up the matter in the people’s court.

Dressed in black, raising slogans, all 16 Members of Parliament belonging to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) walked out of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on December 7 and announced that they would be boycotting the rest of the winter session.

The TRS members have been protesting since the start of the winter session on November 29 against the Narendra Modi government’s "indifferent attitude" regarding the procurement of paddy grown in Telangana. The TRS has nine Lok Sabha and seven Rajya Sabha members. The TRS members also opposed the suspension of a dozen members of the opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha.

The TRS’ parliamentary party leader K. Keshava Rao said that while no party wanted to boycott a Parliament session, they had "no other option". He said the party would now take up the matter in the people’s court. In the Lok Sabha, Nama Nageswara Rao, the TRS floor leader, said: "We are boycotting the session for the sake of Telangana’s farmers."

On December 7 the TRS leaders had proposed adjournment motions to discuss the implementation of a national standard procurement policy, the difficulties being faced by famers, and government-cum-legal assurances that farmers would be granted the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops. When the TRS’s adjournment motions were denied, its members staged walkouts in both Houses.

The imbroglio over the procurement of paddy/rice from Telangana’s farmers took a curious turn on December 3 when Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Rajya Sabha while replying to a question that it was the Telangana government that was not providing rice as per the agreed amounts. Stated Goyal: "We agreed to procure up to 94.53 lakh tonnes of rice, as being claimed by the State government. But even today as we speak, 29 lakh tonnes (supply) is pending. I don’t know why this issue is being politicised." Goyal’s assertion has been denied by the TRS MPs and the Telangana government.

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