Mohammad Alamgir, a six-acre potato grower from Khandauli near Agra, is angry with Asaduddin Owaisi. Not because his party — the Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen — is fighting the coming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. It has, instead, to do with the party lending support to the ruling dispensation in Telangana, which has “banned” import of potatoes from UP.
“How can he (Owaisi) campaign here, while backing a government (of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi) that has blocked entry of our potatoes there (in Telangana)?” asks Alamgir, who is also general secretary of the Aloo Utpadak Kisan Samiti in Agra.
Alamgir estimates that about 100 trucks, each loaded with some 500 50-kg bags of potatoes, go from UP to Telangana every day. Out of that, 50-60 trucks are from Agra alone. Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu together account for roughly three-fourths of the 700-800 trucks going daily from UP to various states.