National

Turmeric farmers, fluoride victims to take on Modi

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on April 26, 2019 Published on April 26, 2019

About 50 turmeric farmers from the turmeric belt of Nizamabad in Telangana are on their way to Varanasi to file nominations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Theirs is a single point demand — creation of a turmeric board.

They will be joined by 10 contestants from the fluorosis-hit areas of Nalgonda in Telangana and Prakasam in Andhra Pradesh.

After attracting national attention by filing 178 nominations in the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency in the first phase of general elections, the farmers have decided to repeat the exercise by fielding candidates against the Prime Minister himself.

However, none of the 178 candidates who contested against K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) President and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, are contesting against Modi.

The farmers know quite well that they are not going to win the polls. “We would like the country to know about our long-pending demand to establish a turmeric board,” said P Thirupathi Reddy, who is one of the 50 contestants.

Telangana is an important turmeric player with farmers growing it in about 1.50 lakh acres.

They have been demanding remunerative prices to the commodity after rates crashed to all-time low of ₹4,000 a quintal as against ₹10,000-12,000 in a normal year.

“A dedicated board would resolve the issues. We will get remunerative prices,” he said.

Fluoride victims

About 10 activists and people afflicted with fluorosis are also travelling to Varanasi to file their nomination papers. “We have hired a lawyer to help us in preparing nomination papers. We are planning to file the papers on Monday,” Sudheer Jalagam, one of the contestants, said.

The biggest challenge that these contestants will face is to garner support of 10 people each to endorse the nomination. It is learnt that polling officials are enquiring about the likely signatories.

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Published on April 26, 2019
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