Shah promises sops, seeks to harvest votes in copra, areca-growing regions

BJP president Amit Shah, on Monday, sought to woo the electorate in the copra-producing taluk of Tiptur, Tumakuru district, saying that a separate minimum support price would be fixed for the state, based on the price here. At Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district, the BJP president sought to enlist the support of arecanut growers.

Shah claimed that copra exports had increased by 60% after his party came to power at the Centre. The support price also rose by 42%. The increase in import duty on edible oil had pushed up the demand for locally produced coconut oil, he said.

The BJP chief said that a coconut research centre of international standards would be set up in Tiptur if the BJP came to power in the state. Shah said 3,781 farmers had committed suicide in the state in the last four and a half years. He claimed more farmers were ending lives in Congress-ruled states than those where BJP was in power.  

He also attacked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah over his Rs 40-lakh watch. The BJP president said the NDA government had released Rs 2,19,506 crore to the state under the 14th finance project, against Rs 88,583 crore given by the UPA  government. But the money had not reached the villages, he added.

Addressing a meeting of arecanut growers at Tirthahalli in Shivamogga district, he promised that an arecanut research centre would be established at a cost of Rs 500 crore in Shivamogga to address the issues of the growers if the BJP was voted to power in the state. The medicinal value of arecanut would be promoted to enhance the global market for the product.

A few arecanut growers shared their grievances with Shah. They urged the Centre to withdraw the affidavit filed by the previous Congress-led government at the Centre before the Supreme Court, stating that areca was injurious to health and it could cause cancer, like gutkha, and file a new affidavit in the Supreme Court mentioning the benefits arecanut.

 

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