Hyderabad: Telangana’s ruling party TRS on Wednesday blocked National Highways demanding the Central government to procure paddy from the state.
The party leaders and workers staged ‘rasta roko’ protest at Mumbai, Nagpur, Bengaluru and Vijayawada National Highways.
Holding party flags, placards and raising slogans, the protestors squatted on the highways leading to huge traffic jams on both sides. Some of the protestors were also carrying the paddy plants.
Ministers, state legislators, other public representatives led the protest, demanding the Centre to procure entire paddy from Telangana during the ongoing Rabi season.
Minister for Forests Indrakaran Reddy led the road blockade on Hyderabad-Nagpur highway near Nirmal town.
He said that they were staging ‘rasta roko’ not to cause inconvenience to people but to raise their voice over paddy procurement.
“We want our voice to be heard in Delhi and that is why we are staging this rasta roko on National Highways,” he added.
Excise Minister Srinivas Goud along with other TRS leaders participated in the road blockade on Hyderabad-Bengaluru highway near Bhoothpur in Mahabubnagar district.
A massive protest was held on Hyderabad-Nagpur highway at Medchal, leading to huge traffic jam. Police detained the protestors and shifted them to the police station.
TRS MP Prabhakar Reddy and other TRS leaders took part in the protest at Hyderabad-Mumbai highway at Patancheru in Sangareddy district.
Similar protest was held on Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway at Nakrekal in Nalgonda district.
The party leaders said that their protest would continue till the BJP government at the Centre agrees to procure entire paddy from Telangana “as is being done from Punjab and other states”.
They said, “The BJP leaders, who were asking farmers to grow paddy and assuring them that the Centre will procure, are now hiding their faces.” TRS leaders urged farmers to question the BJP leaders in every village about their assurance on paddy procurement.
The road blockade is the second of the five-phase protest programme chalked out by the TRS over the paddy procurement issue.
Under the first phase, TRS staged demonstrations in all mandals across the state on Monday.
As part of the third phase, protests will be organised in all 12,769 villages.
TRS working president K. T. Rama Rao has appealed to farmers to put up black flags atop their houses, take out protest rallies and burn effigies of the Central government.
Under the fifth phase, state ministers and public representatives will stage a protest in Delhi on April 11.
TRS leader said that despite repeated requests by the state government and the visit by a ministerial delegation to Delhi to meet Union Food Minister Piyush Goyal, the Centre refused to procure paddy from the state and was insisting on raw rice.
He said the state had been demanding that the Centre should procure the entire paddy as it is procuring from Punjab.
“When you can have one nation one ration, why can’t you have one nation one procurement,” he asked.