Award event: CM at receiving end of farmers’ ire

Award event: CM at receiving end of farmers’ ire

H D Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister interacting with farmers at award presentation programme by Agriculture Department at Banquet Hall, Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Photo by S K Dinesh

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday was at the receiving end of farmers’ ire for trying to skip the annual ‘Krishi Pandit and Best Farmers’ award event at Vidhana Soudha.

Kumaraswamy rushed to the awards venue following the protest by the farmers.

The chief minister was to present the awards – to the agri innovators and farmers  – at Banquet Hall at 11:30 am. However, there was no sign of the chief minister till 12.30 pm.

The organisers announced that Kumaraswamy will not be able to make it to the event and that Agriculture Minister N H Shivashankar Reddy will present the awards.

This resulted in the ire of the awardees and the audience. “Where is the chief minister? We will not accept the awards if it is not presented by him,” they said.

They said the coalition government claims to have given top priority to the agriculture sector, but Kumaraswamy did not even find time to attend an award function meant for farmers. They soon started shouting slogans against the chief minister and the government, prompting Reddy to call up Kumaraswamy and inform him about the development.

Kumaraswamy rushed to Vidhana Soudha to present the award. “I meant no disrespect to farmers. If I have hurt your feelings then I apologise. I was at my home office signing a memorandum of understanding with corporate companies for development of lakes,” he said.

The farmers were told by the organisers that lunch will be served for all. However, that was not to be. Soon after the end of the event, farmers who went to the luncheon area were told that lunch was closed.

This again kindled the ire of farmers who threw away empty plates and went away.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox