After talks with Yediyurappa fail, farmers to go ahead with Karnataka bandh
A delegation of farmers who met chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday said that they would go ahead with their proposed statewide bandh on Monday after talks failed between the two parties.
The group accused the state government of “trying to preach, rather than listen” to their grievances.
Farmer organisations have been protesting on a clutch of bills proposed on the farm sector, including those which allow purchase of agricultural land by non-agriculturists, as well as amendments to the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, allowing farmers to sell outside Mandis to private players. Farmer organisations claim that these acts as well as proposed changes to the electricity act in the state would be detrimental to their interests.
Kodihalli Chandrashekar, President of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Kurburu Shanthkumar, President of Karnataka Sugarcane Growers Association, Badagalapura Nagendra and a host of other farmer leaders who met the CM said that Yediyurappa refused to withdraw the bills which were tabled during the monsoon session of the Karnataka assembly.
“He is not willing to go against (PM) Modi’s orders. He merely offered to tweak one of the provisions regarding ceiling of landholding as per Land Reforms Act. This was clearly not enough. So we are left with no choice but to go ahead with the protests,” Chandrashekar told HT.
On Friday the state also witnessed sporadic protests with traffic being blocked in some parts due to farmers’ agitation on the issue.
Meanwhile, JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy indicated that his party is unlikely to support the ‘no-confidence’ motion moved by the Congress against the government.
Saturday is the last day of the ongoing monsoon session and the motion will be taken up for debate and voting.
Speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy said, “I don’t know how serious they (Congress) are about the motion. If they were they would have discussed with us earlier itself.”
The government enjoys a clear majority with 117 seats in the 224-member assembly, with Congress having 67, JDS 33, three independents and four vacant seats.