Congress asks EC to stay Farmers’ Survey till local body polls

Hyderabad: The Congress party on Tuesday demanded that the Telangana State Election Commission direct the State Government to stop Farmers’ Survey till the completion of local body elections.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Official Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin said that the proposed survey on farmers was a violation of Model Code of Conduct and an attempt by TRS Government to misuse official machinery in favour of ruling party. He informed that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao announced about the Farmers’ Survey on April 16 and claimed that the State Government was planning to seek “perfect statistical data” to establish “Crop Colonies”.

Syed Nizamuddin said a detailed format for the survey comprising about 44 columns collecting details of every farmer has reportedly been prepared by the officials. “In the name of survey, TRS Government wants to send thousands of Agriculture Extension Officers (AEOs) to all farmers to pressurise or lure them to vote for ruling TRS in local body elections. The Chief Minister doesn’t want to seek farmers’ information, but he want to seek their votes,” he alleged.

Nizamuddin said that many shocking revelations were made in the 10th National Agriculture Census report, published on 24th September, 2018. “Contrary to the claims of TRS Government, the overall cropping area in Telangana has decreased. Compared to 2010-11 (9th Agriculture Census), operational holding for all social groups has reduced by 3.63%. Number of SC and ST farmers and their net crop area has reduced. While SCs operational area has reduced by 9.42%, it has decreased by 3.90% for STs. A fresh survey is apparently aimed at covering up the findings of National Agricultural Census,” he said.

The Congress leader said if the State Government was firm on conducting the survey, then it should also collect details of farmers’ suicides, their reasons and the status of compensation paid to their families as per GO 421. However, he said that the Election Commission should allow the survey only after the completion of MPTC and ZPTC elections.