Oppn demands for Shivanand Patil’s scalp over ‘farmers wish for repeated droughts’ remark

The video clip of the minister’s insensitive remarks went viral on social media platforms, drawing widespread condemnation.
Last Updated : 25 December 2023, 20:06 IST

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The Opposition BJP and the JD(S) and the farmer bodies on Monday demanded the resignation of Minister for Agriculture Marketing and Sugar Shivanand Patil over his disparaging statement about farmers. 

Addressing a gathering at a silver jubilee celebrations of a cooperative society in Athani taluk, Belagavi district, the minister said, “Farmers in the state wish for repeated droughts so that their loans get waived. They get Krishna river water for free, power is also free. Successive chief ministers have given free seeds and fertilisers. The farmers will only wish for repeated droughts because their loans will be waived.”

The video clip of the minister’s insensitive remarks went viral on social media platforms, drawing widespread condemnation. 

The combined Opposition pounced on the minister and ruling Congress, demanding Patil’s resignation. The BJP on its X handle stated, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s Cabinet is full of fools. The anti-farmer government is mocking and humiliating farmers.”

BJP state president B Y Vijayendra demanded Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to drop Shivanand Patil from his Cabinet. “He is a serial offender. A few months back, he made a similar remark, the chief minister must drop him from the Cabinet,” said Vijayendra. He even demanded an unconditional apology from the minister.

JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy said, “Instead of being sensitive to farmers’ issues, the minister has humiliated them. He must apologise to farmers and also withdraw his remarks.” 

Senior BJP legislator C N Ashwath Narayan went a step ahead and said Shivanand Patil has lost his mental balance. “The person who makes such insensitive comments about farmers is not eligible to continue as minister. Let the chief minister clarify whether the Congress government accepts his remarks,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly R Ashoka told the chief minister to advise the minister in question to stop making such remarks. “If your government does not intend to respond to the struggle of farmers by giving them drought compensation, then kindly be silent. Your government has no right to hurt the sentiments of the farmers with such remarks.” Ashoka said.

Several farmer organisations across the state protested on Monday against his statement and demanded his resignation.

Not new to controversies

In fact, Shivanand Patil, who represents Basavana Bagewadi Assembly constituency, has this uncanny knack of attracting controversies. The minister had made an insensitive remark in September when he stated, “farmer suicides had risen after the state government increased compensation for the families of the deceased.”

In another controversy, a video of him sitting on a sofa at a private event with currency notes strewn all around had sparked outrage.

Published 25 December 2023, 20:06 IST

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