BJP instigating farmers’ protests, says Kumaraswamy

BJP instigating farmers’ protests, says Kumaraswamy

Hundreds of farmers gather in front of Freedom Park as part of their agitation in Bengaluru on Monday.

Hitting out at the BJP for “instigating” the farmers’ protests, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday said those who held demonstrations in Bengaluru and other parts of the state were not farmers.

Instead, they were sponsored protests by the BJP, which was unable to digest the good work being done by his government, he charged.

Addressing reporters here, Kumaraswamy said small groups of people were staging agitations in the state, in the name of farmers.

Stating that farmers of the state would never turn against him, Kumaraswamy lashed out at the BJP and asked the protestors not to “provoke” him or test his patience unnecessarily.

Kumaraswamy, who also directed his ire against the media yet again, said despite his efforts like implementing farm loan waiver and protecting the interests of farmers, his government was not getting the due credit.

“Till date, I don’t understand or know why these persons are protesting. The government has never disrespected the farming community. The Hasiru Sene submitted a list of 29 demands to me today. But the government has already met all these demands,” he said. He also attacked the BJP for pointing fingers at his family for “letting down” the farming community.

“It’s ironic that Yeddyurappa, during whose tenure as a chief minister a farmer was shot dead, is now trying to advice H D Deve Gowda, H D Revanna and me. The Deve Gowda family has always stood by the farming community. What is your contribution as chief minister? How dare you advise me? He has said that with a mere 38 MLAs, I am behaving like an authoritarian - that I am arrogant. But that is not the case,” he added.

Kumaraswamy also said that before the coalition government came to power, the pending arrears of sugarcane farmers was nearly Rs 2,000 crore, and that after he took over as chief minister, it had come down to Rs 35 crore.

“I don’t even use the government bungalow or car or even claim TA/DA. Still, my detractors attack me for choosing to stay at a private hotel. I stay there because it is difficult for me to commute from JP Nagar every day,” he said.

Kumaraswamy hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks on Karnataka government harassing its farmers by issuing arrest warrants against them for not repaying farm loans.

Kumaraswamy said it was, in fact, the Modi government which had given directions to the nationalised banks to issue arrest warrants against
farmers. He will hold a meeting with 30 farmers each from Belagavi and Bagalkot on Tuesday.