Karnataka CM Bommai calls farmers protest ‘sponsored’; Congress hits back saying comments ‘insult to farmers’

“It is Congress or foreign agents in the country who are the sponsors of the protests by the farmers which are happening in the borders of Delhi and other places,” Basavaraj Bommai said.
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.(PTI)
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.(PTI)
Published on Sep 20, 2021 06:33 PM IST
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Written by Srivatsan K C | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said that the farmers protesting at the borders of Delhi and other places were being sponsored by the opposition Indian National Congress or “foreign agents” in the country.

“It is Congress or foreign agents in the country who are the sponsors of the protests by the farmers which are happening in the borders of Delhi and other places,” news agency ANI quoted Bommai as saying earlier in the day.

Following the remarks, Congress MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao called it an “insult to the farmers” and went on to say that the government must arrest those who sponsor the protests if they have the proof.

Also read | ‘Tikait a dacoit’: BJP MP says protesters are not farmers

“I condemn the statement as it is an insult to the farmers' protest. If they have any proof, they should arrest those who are sponsoring it,” ANI quoted Gundu Rao as saying, in response to Bommai’s remarks. Further, he also went on to call the Karnataka chief minister “clueless”.

“We asked him about inflation, LPG price, fuel price but he replied what is not asked. The CM is clueless,” he added.

Notably, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, during his visit to state capital Bengaluru earlier in the year, had called for farmers to protest in the city similar to how it was being done in Delhi against Centre’s three farm laws. “Unless the three laws are repealed, and there is a law related to the MSP, you need to continue this agitation in Karnataka as well,” he had said.

The fresh spat between the two parties in the state came even as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) had earlier in the day organised protests against the rising fuel prices. Several state Congress leaders including KPCC president DK Shivakumar, leader of opposition in Karnataka legislative council SR Patil, former state minister Priyank Kharge and former CM Siddaramaiah were all part of the protests.

The leaders rode their bicycles from the KPCC office in Bengaluru to the Vidhana Soudha (Karnataka Legislature), condemning the “continuous fuel price hike” by the Centre. Several other state Congress leaders were also present during the rally.

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Friday, January 28, 2022