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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fact Sheet: Babu becomes a farmer for votes

Former chief minister and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu is spending two days in Godavari sharing the problems of farmers, particularly those growing paddy. The East and the West Godavari districts play a crucial role in Assembly elections and the Telugu Desam had fared badly in both the places in May 2004 elections. These districts were once considered the bastion of the Telugu Desam. Now they are no more TD's citadel. The Congress has taken over the two districts. In a desperate attempt to woo back the voters to the Telugu Desam fold, Chandrababu Naidu took up the cause of paddy growers. He wants a support price of Rs 1000 per quintal to be given to paddy yields on par with wheat.

Though the Congress too took up the paddy issue with the Central government and Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy himself wrote a letter to Prime Minister, the TD leader went a step ahead to spend some time in the paddy fields "sharing" the woes of farmers and promising that he would give them the highest possible support price to paddy.

It's a different matter that Chandrababu Naidu did not pay attention to paddy or any agricultural crop when he was in power for about nine long years. Now that he is in the Opposition, he has realised that agriculture is not a wasteful excercise and helping or pretending to help farmers will fetch votes. It's a key to power and Chandrababu Naidu has realised a bit earlier.

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