Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday intensified his protest against the Centre for refusing to procure paddy from his government for the current rabi season, The Indian Express reported. During the rabi season, crops are sown around mid-November and harvesting begins around April.

Rao warned the Centre that it may face another agitation by the farmers if it failed to purchase parboiled rice from Telangana. The paddy produced between November and April in the state is partially boiled and dried, making it parboiled, as high temperatures in summer season causes the raw rice to break, reported The Tribune.

Experts say that if the rice is not parboiled, the yield can be quite low.

Rao issued a 24-hour deadline to the central government to draw up a nationwide paddy procurement policy.

“Don’t play with the sentiments of our farmers,” Rao said in a warning to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to PTI. “They [farmers] have the power to topple the government.”

Rao made the remarks during a protest in New Delhi by his party – Telangana Rashtra Samiti – against the Centre.

The TRS government in Telangana and the Centre have been at loggerheads over the matter of paddy procurement since last year. The party has alleged that the central government is being biased towards the farmers of Telangana.

Party leaders have said that last year the Centre had procured 202.81 lakh tonne of grains from Punjab, while only 141.38 lakh tonne of paddy was procured from Telangana. In November, Rao had said that the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in the state were pushing farmers to sow paddy but the Centre was refusing to procure it.

On Monday, Rao alleged that Union minister Piyush Goyal “spoke in an insulting tone” to his ministers when they met him to discuss the matter of paddy procurement.

“We grow top-quality rice in Telangana but he asked us to consume broken rice,” Rai alleged. “He asked the people of Telangana to get used to consuming broken rice. I don’t know what he thinks of himself…where do they get this kind of arrogance from.”

Rao said that the farmers are not beggars and have the right to seek minimum support price for their produce, reported the Hindustan Times. Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait also participated in Monday’s protest.

“Telangana demands its right,” the chief minister said at the site of the demonstration. “I would like to say to the PM to frame a new agriculture policy and we will also contribute to that. If you will not do it then you will be removed and the new government will make a new integrated agriculture policy.”

Rao also accused the BJP government of using agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax to harass Opposition leaders.