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T'gana: Farmer standing in queue for urea dies

Tgana: Farmer standing in queue for urea dies

Siddipet/Hyderabad: Amid claims of urea shortage in Telangana, a 69-year-old farmer collapsed and died reportedly after suffering cardiac arrest while standing in queue for buying the fertilizer in Siddipet district on Thursday, police said.

G Yellaiah, a native of Achimayipally village, went to the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society office at Dubbak and stood in the queue but suddenly collapsed after which he was rushed to the nearby government hospital where doctors declared him bought dead, they said. Farmers demanded that the state government release ex-gratia to the bereaved family.

An agriculture official said farmers gathered in large numbers as the urea stock arrived.

"We gave them tokens to stand in the queue and suddenly one of them collapsed...," the official said. The incident created a furore with the opposition Congress and BJP hitting out at the state government.

Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy told reporters in Hyderabad that there were enough urea stocks in the State to meet the requirements of farmers. "There is no need to worry about the availability of urea stocks. We are trying to reserve 60,000 tonnes of urea, up to September 12, against the requirement of 48,000 tonnes.

We supply stocks as per the weekly requirement which may vary from week to week. The situation should not be hyped.

That may lead to panic buying," he said. He requested the opposition parties not to politicise the death of the farmer.

According to him, Telangana sought 2 lakh tonnes of the fertilizer for September from the centre.

BJP Telangana chief spokesperson K Krishna Saagar Rao said the K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR)government had "once again let down the farmers of the state." He alleged that the short supply of urea was due to utter mismanagement of the state agriculture department and the state agriculture ministry in planning the logistics for distribution of urea. According to him, the Central government has allocated 8.5 lakh tonnes of urea to Telangana, while the minimum requirement for the season was only 6.5 lakh tonnes. "BJP strongly condemns the KCR government's failure to plan ahead of an important crop season, resulting in this kind of a farmer distress," he said and demanded that government intervene immediately to resolve the issue on a war-footing.

Describing the KCR government as "anti-farmer", senior Congress leader and former MP Mallu Ravi said "the government has no commitment towards agriculture."

"The Congress party expresses its deep concern over the death of the farmer. The state government has failed in addressing issue of urea shortage," he added. TPCC President Uttam Kumar Reddy had also written to the Chief Minister on the urea crisis three days ago, he said.

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