Alleging that the Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal insulted the Telangana state delegation, the state finance minister Minister T Harish Rao on Wednesday demanded an unconditional apology from the union minister.
Taking strong exception to the remarks made by Goyal about the state delegation that had gone to meet him in Delhi on the issue of paddy procurement, Harish Rao alleged that Goyal insulted Telangana by asking the state delegation if it has no other work than meeting him. Goyal has hurt the self-respect of 70 lakh farmers of Telangana, he added.
The delegation of six ministers and MPs had gone to the national capital on behalf of 70 lakh farmers and 4 crore people of the state, he reminded the Union Minister.
The language used by Goyal was unbecoming of a central minister. "What right do you have to humiliate our ministers and the state," Harish Rao asked.
"Our priority is farmers but your priority is politics," he further slammed.
Goyal first met a delegation of BJP leaders from the state and kept the state delegation waiting for three days for an appointment when it was in Delhi only to ask the Centre to clarify if it would procure the entire paddy during the current Kharif season or not.
"Since the Centre had fixed the target of 40 lakh tonnes paddy and the state has already procured 50 tonnes from farmers and another 20-30 lakh tonnes is lying in the market, the delegation went to Delhi to request the Centre to enhance the target and lift the entire paddy," he said.
Also taking exception to Goyal's remarks blaming the state government for not procuring paddy from farmers, Rao pointed out that the state government had sent several letters to the Centre requesting it to make all arrangements to lift the paddy stocks.