A farmer in Telangana died while waiting for his turn to purchase urea in Siddipet district today.
C Yellaiah, 65, died while waiting in the queue at the Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) in the home district of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.
Mr Yellaiah's family alleged that he had been going to the PACS for urea for the last three days. The farmer, who was standing in the long queue since morning along with his wife, collapsed while waiting for his turn. He was shifted to a nearby hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead.
The incident highlighted a severe shortage of urea in the state, causing hardships to farmers. Worried over the shortage of the crop-nutrient, farmers staged protests at several places. They alleged that their crops were withering due to lack of fertilizers.
A late monsoon and the shortage of urea were dashing the farmers' hopes of a reasonable yield.
Thousands of farmers were seen standing in long queues at PACS but officials were unable to meet the demand.
The state government has blamed the Centre for the situation, saying it failed to provide urea in sufficient quantity.
Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy said the state government had requested the Centre last month to release the entire allotted quota of 8.5 lakh tonnes but only 3.97 lakh tonnes were released. Of this only 2.12 lakh tonnes urea has reached the farmers.
The Minister's statement triggered a war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Telangana's ruling party Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
BJP state president K Laxman alleged that the TRS government was blaming the Centre to hide its failures. He said that the shortage was deliberately created in some districts where the BJP is strong.
The main opposition Congress party also targeted the TRS for failing to ensure supply of urea to farmers. Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka said the government had betrayed the farmers.