Hyderabad: Telagnana bandh, called by the opposition parties which demanded that the TRS government implement its farm loan waiver promise in one go rather than in a phased manner, evoked a mixed response today. State Congress President N Uttam Kumar Reddy, state TDP President L Ramana, BJP Floor Leader in Assembly K Laxman, CPI leader K Narayana and several other leaders participated in protests here and elsewhere in Telangana.
Opposition workers staged demonstrations outside bus stations in Hyderabad from early morning, stopping the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation buses from plying. The agitating leaders were detained and taken to various police stations in the city.
“Are we trying to destabilise the government? Are we trying to encourage defections from one party to another? This is not for our political gain…this is to make the government respond,” Leader of Opposition in the Assembly K Jana Reddy (Congress) said. The people had served “first warning” to the government through today’s bandh, he said.
Claiming that the bandh was a success, TDP leader L Ramana said the opposition had come together on the issue of farmers’ welfare keeping aside their (separate) party flags. Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy said the bandh had failed. “Farmers, for whom they have called the bandh, did not support it in any district or mandal. The farmers did not participate because they know the history of these parties. Congress and TDP do not have opportunity to criticise the government on any issue. That’s why they are doing all this on the loan waiver issue,” he said.
IT, Panchayat Raj minister K T Rama Rao said the government was in touch with RBI for waiving farm loans at once. The opposition’s demand is that loan waiver (of Rs 8,500 crore) be announced at one go, to deal with the agrarian crisis and the farmer suicides. The government had paid about Rs 8,000 crore in loan waivers earlier.