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T'gana demands apology from Piyush Goyal for 'humiliating' delegation

Telangana's Finance Minister T. Harish Rao on Wednesday demanded Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal to tender an unconditional apology for "humiliating" the state delegation.

Harish Rao took strong exception to remarks made by Goyal about the delegation which had gone to Delhi to meet him on the issue of paddy procurement.

The state minister alleged that Goyal "insulted" Telangana by asking the state delegation whether they have no other work than meeting him.

Addressing a news conference, Harish Rao alleged that Goyal hurt the self-respect of 70 lakh farmers of Telangana.

He reminded the Union Minister that the delegation comprising six ministers and MPs had gone to the national capital on behalf of 70 lakh farmers and 4 crore people of the state.

He said 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.

The TRS leader alleged that the central minister was resorting to politics. "Our priority is farmers but your priority is politics," he remarked.

Harish Rao said Goyal kept the state delegation waiting for three days for an appointment and first met a delegation of BJP leaders from the state.

Harish Rao said the delegation was in Delhi 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.

Harish Rao also took exception to Goyal's remarks blaming the state government for not procuring paddy from farmers.

He pointed out that the state government sent several letters to the Centre, requesting it to make all arrangements to lift the paddy stocks.

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