People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 52

December 26, 2010

Provide Relief to AP Farmers: Prakash Karat



Following is the text of the letter addressed by the CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat to the prime minister  Manmohan Singh  on the serious situation facing the farmers in Andhra Pradesh on December 21:


I HAD recently spent a few days in Hyderabad and became aware of the serious situation facing the farmers in Andhra Pradesh.  Due to heavy and excessive rainfall, there has been widespread damage to standing crops affecting at least 20 lakh acres of  paddy and 10 lakh acres of cotton crops.  Other commercial crops have also been affected.


It is distressing that there has been a spate of suicides by farmers due to the losses suffered by them.  The state government has announced some measures which are totally inadequate to meet the situation.   One of the steps taken is to increase the input subsidy by Rs 600 per acre making a total of Rs 2,400 which is meager and insufficient to compensate  for the losses.  Steps should be taken to see that tenant farmers get the benefits of the relief measures. 


Immediate steps have to be taken for the procurement of  discoloured paddy and a relaxation upto 25 per cent should be given.   Similarly, relief has to be provided to weavers, fishermen, toddy tappers and other artisans by giving a daily allowance and compensation for loss of raw-material and implements.


In this connection, you must be aware that the former chief minister and Telugu Desam president  Chandrababu Naidu has embarked on an indefinite hunger strike in support of the farmersí demands which has entered the fifth day today.


Given the seriousness of the situation in Andhra Pradesh, it should be declared a national calamity.  I request you to intervene and assist the state government to take the necessary steps to provide relief to the farmers and save agriculture in the state.