By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao has requested the Union agriculture ministry to set up a chilli national research centre in Guntur district, the largest chilli producing district in the country. Making a submission during the zero hour in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, the BJP MP, also the chairman of national chilli task force under Spices Board, noted that chilli exports have doubled from Rs 2,722 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 6,222 crore in 2019-20.  

“There is lack of research support for introduction and popularisation of such varieties. In addition, farmers are forced to adopt labour intensive and unhygienic post harvest drying practices that have detrimental impact on the quality of chilli…There is an urgent need to set up a national research centre on Chilli under the aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)…in Guntur,” he said.

To another query by GVL if or not SC voters, who converted to Christianity or Islam, were eligible to contest from reserved assembly and parliamentary constituencies, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad explained that only SCs of Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist religions are eligible to seek SC reservations. So such persons are not eligible to contest from SC reserved seats.

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