Chandrababu Naidu kicks off padyatra for farmers

November 2nd, 2011 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Nov 2 (IANS) Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu Wednesday launched state-wide “padyatra” (foot march) to highlight the problems faced by Andhra Pradesh’s farmers.

The leader of opposition in assembly kicked off “Ryty poru bata” from Dharmavaram in Anantapur district, demanding the government come to the rescue of distressed farmers.

The padyatra, the first-ever by Naidu in his three-decade-long political career, evoked a good response on the first day with large number of people turning out to hear him.

Naidu, whose defeat in 2004 elections is attributed to the anger among farmers against his policies, is trying to win their support and boost the morale of the party cadre three years ahead of the 2014 elections.

Naidu, who was chief minister from 1995 to 2004, demanded a compensation of Rs.10,000 per acre for farmers who lost their crops due to drought.

Alleging that the government has failed to solve the farmers’ problems, he demanded implementation of the recommendations of the (M.S.) Swaminathan Commission on agriculture.

“We will continue our struggle till agriculture is made profitable,” said the TDP chief who also consoled families of farmers who committed suicide.

Naidu plans to cover 330 to 440 km in 22 districts on foot. He will go on a 15 to 20 km padayatra in each district every day and will take a two or three day break before moving to the next district.

The TDP leader’s padyatra, however, evoked criticism from Chief Minister M. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

“Why did he ignore the farmers when he was in power,” he asked.

State Congress chief Botsa Satyaranarayana alleged that Naidu was trying to gain political mileage.

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