With govt schemes, farmers had no reason to protest: CM

With govt schemes, farmers had no reason to protest: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday patted himself, claiming that farmers in the state did not resort to violent protests as his government had initiated several measures for their welfare.

Unlike Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, where the farmers staged violent protests, farmers in Karnataka did not agitate. This shows that the government is pro-farmer and that programmes being implemented by it have helped them, he said, replying to a debate on demand for grants in the Assembly.

Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar said Karnataka stands second in the country in the number of farmers’ suicides. “Why are farmer ending their lives in large numbers? This shows that farmers are in distress. The government did not take any measures to stop suicides.”

Members of the ruling party and the principal Opposition BJP charged each other with neglecting farmers and blamed each other for all their woes. “Farmers were killed in Haveri soon after B S Yeddyurappa took oath as chief minister in 2008. You (BJP members) don’t have the moral right to speak about farmers,” the chief minister said.

BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai hit back saying, “It was the then UPA government at the Centre that killed the farmers in Haveri. The Centre did not supply fertilisers to the state and hence, the farmers protested.” Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda then claimed that the farmers were protesting in Haveri because of the state government’s failure to provide seeds.

Both Siddaramaiah and Shettar claimed that their party will come to power in the next Assembly elections. “The government is not facing anti-incumbency even after completing four years in office. The Congress’ victory in the recently held byelections to Nanjangud and Gundlupet Assembly constituencies has proved it...It is very clear that the Congress will come back to power...The BJP leaders are under the illusion that they will come to power...Your mission 150 will not be a reality,” the chief minister said.

Shettar accused the ruling party of winning the byelections by misusing the administrative machinery and using money power. “People have witnessed caste politics of the ruling party in the past four years. The BJP will come back to power,” he claimed.

The chief minister also claimed credit for celebrating jayantis of all important saints and personalities in the state.

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