Karnataka Assembly Winter Session Set for Bumpy Start Over Farmers’ Protest, Attempts to Poach MLAs
This impasse between the ruling government and farmers, especially sugarcane growers, from the northern district of Belagavi has been brewing over months.
Illustration by Mir Suhail/ News18.com.
Bengaluru: The Kumaraswamy-led government in Karnataka is headed for a rocky winter Assembly session on Monday as thousands of farmers are slated to march towards the Survana Souda in Karnataka on the same day to protest “non-clearance of dues”
Farmer organisations like the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers’ Association (KSSGA), Hasiru Sene among others will take to the streets of Belagavi as numerous meetings between the government and stakeholders of the sugar industry were inconclusive.
This impasse between the ruling government and farmers, especially sugarcane growers, from the northern district of Belagavi has been brewing over months. In the last week of November, hundreds of farmers had reached Bengaluru, in an attempt to speak with the Chief Minister to resolve their problems.
Since Saturday, around 500 farmers resumed their protest and assembled in front of the district commissioner’s office. Belagavi DC, SB Bomanahalli, has assured the farmers that he will arrange for a meeting with the concern authorities and the CM on December 10 to address their concerns. Farmers have said that they will continue to protest until their demands are met.
"We have been assured by the DC that CM will be meeting us tomorrow. If not, we will intensify our protest. Mere assurances by Kumarswamy and DK Shivkumar will not do," said Kurubhu Shantakumar, president of the KSSGA.
The BJP president BS Yeddyruppa has said that he will join the farmers in their protest. The saffron party is also going to take up the issue of farmers inside the legislative assembly.
The farmers are demanding declaration of an ex-field rate for sugarcane, an MSP as promised as well as the pending arrears by factory owners which for the year 2017-18 is around 619 crores. Even though the chief minister had called for a meeting of factory owners to try and solve the issue amicably within two weeks, a solution has not yet been reached.
Apart for the farmers agitation, alleged attempts of BJP poaching disgruntled MLAs is also likely to be brought up in the course of the session. The delay in cabinet expansion of the ruling government has set many tongues wagging.
A flurry of activity is expected outside the assembly hall as aspirants will continue to lobby for cabinet berths. The co-ordination and monitoring committee headed by Siddaramaiah has decided to expand the current cabinet on December 22 after the 11-day session ends.
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