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CM Kumaraswamy Stirs Controversy By Calling Agitating Karnataka Farmers ‘Goondas’

On Sunday, some angry farmers had gate-crashed into Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belgaum with sugarcane-laden trucks damaging the main entry. They were demanding fair price and the years’ old balance money from a factory.

D P Satish | dp_satish

Updated:November 19, 2018, 1:46 PM IST
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CM Kumaraswamy Stirs Controversy By Calling Agitating Karnataka Farmers ‘Goondas’
File photo of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
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Bengaluru: The pro-farmer image of the H D Kumaraswamy led coalition government seems to have taken a severe beating after he called some protesting sugarcane growers “goondas and a blot on the farming community” in Karnataka.

On Sunday, some angry farmers had gate-crashed into Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belgaum with sugarcane-laden trucks damaging the main entry. They were demanding fair price and the years’ old balance money from a factory.

After Jayashree Gurannavar, a female farmer who was leading the agitation, called Kumaraswamy “a good for nothing CM”, the CM hit back calling them “goondas in the guise of farmers”.

After his statement the farmers erupted in anger in many parts of the state demanding immediate apology from the CM. Though he stood his ground till Monday morning defending his statement, the farmers’ anger forced him to retract saying that his statement was misinterpreted.

“My intention was not to hurt anyone. My statement has been misinterpreted by the media. I apologise if the farmers are hurt,” Kumaraswamy said.

Coalition partner Congress has criticised Kumaraswamy for making such a statement against the farmers. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said that he would apologise to the farmers for the CM’s angry statement.

“I don’t know in what context he has used the word ‘goondas’. But he should not have said that. The Congress party has always been with the farmers and I personally apologize to them,” Parameshwara said.

The opposition BJP was quick to join the issue demanding Kumaraswamy’s immediate apology. The leader of the opposition B S Yeddyurappa told News18 that Kumaraswamy must apologise to the farmers. “The Gowdas call themselves a family of humble farmers. But their attitude is exactly the opposite. How could a CM call farmers “goondas”? CM’s elder brother and PWD minister H D Revanna says government does not have a note printing machine to solve everything. Their father H D Deve Gowda must clarify now,” he said.

Thousands of farmers from different parts of the state have laid a siege to state Assembly building demanding that the CM and deputy CM should meet them and resolve issues of peasants. Farmer leader K T Gangadhar has said that they will not go back until and unless the CM and deputy CM visit the farmers at Freedom Park, less than a kilometer away from the Vidhana Soudha. They have also set a deadline to the state government threatening a statewide agitation if they fail to meet it.

JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda has blamed a section of the media for Sunday’s incident in Belgaum.

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