Centre keen to know people's expectations: Union minister

Centre keen to know people's expectations: Union minister

CM introducing Central schemes as his own: Prathap Simha

Suggestions poured in from over enthusiastic party men-cum-farmers, when Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan asked for their opinion on the agriculture sector, which would be considered during the next budget.

Interacting with party workers during his visit to Hassan, on Sunday, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, the Centre was pro-farmer and was concerned about chalking out plans for the overall development of the country.

“Apart from introducing new plans, the government is keen to know the expectations of the people,” he said.

Yogesh, a farmer, suggested, the government should direct the farmers on what to sow and when and also fix the price for the crop beforehand.

Another farmer stressed that inter-linking of rivers project, that was chalked out by the Vajpayee government, should be implemented for the benefit of the farmers. The farmers explained the condition of coffee growers of the district and sought subsidy for fertilisers.

Other suggestions included separate budget for agriculture, increase in cess on import duty on silk, and Spices Park in the district.

Encouraged by the programme, a large number of people started giving their suggestions, creating confusion for a while. So, the farmers were told to send their suggestions in writing to the minister.

The farmers aired their grievances on the existing power crisis in the district. MP Prathap Simha alleged that the problem is due to the difference of opinion between Energy Minister D K Shivakumar and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “There are a few power corridors in the country and the states facing power problems should make an agreement to purchase power. The Karnataka government has failed to do so, resulting in power scarcity,” he said.

He took the opportunity to criticise the chief minister for introducing Central schemes as his own, by renaming them. Rice, sugar and other commodities supplied by the Centre are distributed to the people after pasting Siddaramaiah’s picture on them. ‘Hosa Belaku’ is nothing but the ‘Prakash Patha’ scheme of the Centre, which is being shamelessly projected as the Congress government’s scheme, he said. District BJP unit president B H Renukumar, leaders Navile Annappa and others were present.