Farmers stir: 'Where were you sleeping for four years?'

Farmers stir: 'Where were you sleeping for four years?'

A statement made by Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday seems to have triggered the massive protest launched by the sugarcane farmers in Bengaluru on Monday.

Hours after a meeting with sugarcane farmers in Belagavi was cancelled, farmers laid siege to Suvarna Vidhana Soudha. 

Among the protesters was activist Jayashree Gurannavar against whom the chief minister said: "A woman (Jayashree) has criticised me stating that I am not fit to govern the state. How can I be held responsible for some company not paying proper prices for sugarcane four years ago? What is the connection between me and this issue? Where were you sleeping four years ago?"

The statement came in for widespread criticism and may cause trouble in the Monday's Cabinet meeting with Congress ministers expected to raise the issue. 

Farmer activist Jayashree had said that police personnel who tried to close the gate, wrapped a chain around her neck. "I am a farmer woman. I am prepared to spill my blood for the cause. The chief minister has gone back on his word," she had remarked.

"I own land at both my parent's and my in-laws' houses. I work in these fields. He (CM) has insulted me for raising my voice for the cause of aggrieved sugarcane farmers," she added.

Farmers organisations and the Opposition BJP have sought an apology from Kumaraswamy. 

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