Ready for talks, says minister

The government informed the Assembly on Monday that it was prepared to hold talks with the farmers protesting outside the gates of the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha and that the farmers’ representatives had been invited for the same.

Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande said that he had held talks with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in this regard. He took on the members of the BJP and said that raising farmers issues wasn’t their monopoly and that they (the government) too were concerned with the farmers’ suicides.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar urged the government to show courtesy and hold talks with the protesting farmers. BJP member Govind Karjol condemned the arrest of a few protesting farmers.

Congress members Ramesh Kumar and Puttannaiah too demanded that somebody from the government should hold talks with the farmers.

Action demanded
BJP member Lakshman Savadi demanded action against sugar factories that have not cleared the dues of farmers as per the law.

He said that some of the sugar factories in Belagavi district had been issuing fake receipts that farmers have been paid Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,000 per tonne of sugarcane supplied during the last crushing season.

Home Minister K J George said that only farmers who have been blocking the national highway during the protest had been arrested and not those protesting peacefully.

Sugar Minister H S Mahadeva Prasad said none of the sugar factories across the country had cleared dues of farmers within 14 days of procurement of sugar cane. The government, while issuing recovery certificates, has been asking them to pay the penal interest for the delay.

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