In what seems to be the start of a one-on-one battle between the turmeric farmers and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a group of farmers, alleging that the BJP was adopting a dual stand on setting up a Turmeric Board, burnt the election manifesto released by the BJP in Tamil Nadu, at Armoor, Nizamabad in Telagana. With the Union government ruling out the formation of a turmeric board in the state, turmeric farmers in Telangana are furious over the BJP's Tamil Nadu poll manifesto which mentions setting up a turmeric board in the election-bound state, if voted into power.
Lambasting the double standards of the Centre-ruling party, the ryots alleged that the saffron party is trying to deceive and mislead the people of Tamil Nadu too. “They cheated us by not setting up the board here. Now they are trying to hoodwink Tamil Nadu voters with a false promise,” the farmers alleged.
The turmeric farmers also demanded that Nizamabad Lok Sabha member Dharmapuri Arvind resign from his post, as he failed to keep the promises made during the elections.
The ryots in January had a showdown with Dharmapuri during a meeting a meeting at Kammarpally mandal in the constituency, in the backdrop of delay in the setting up of turmeric board. The farmers raised slogans and demanded his resignation. The farmers’ unions said that they would protest at all the future events he would attend.
Turmeric is an important spice crop in India with a total production of 11.53 lakh tonnes. The country accounts for 78 per cent of the total turmeric production across the world. The Nizamabad farmers have been demanding for a Turmeric Board, contending that 30 per cent of the turmeric produced in India comes from the State. The BJP won the Nizamabad Lok Sabha seat in 2019 general elections over promises to set up a turmeric board. Dharmapuri had even given a written assurance to this effect. However, the Union government on March 15, categorically said that there was no proposal to set up a Turmeric Board in Telangana.