Farmers protest as Congressional government says ‘no’ to farm loan waiver

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The state budget proposals presented by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday sparked instant protests from farmers against the government for failing to heed their demand to forgo farm loans.

The farmers, led by former Union Minister Babagouda Patil, staged a protest outside the deputy commissioner’s office. They reminded the government that more than 160 taluks, the majority of which in northern Karnataka, were in the grip of drought. Farmers have been asking for a waiver of farm loans for two years. Instead of taking steps to provide much needed aid to farmers, the government had found a pretext in the Union government’s reluctance to announce a farm loan.

JD (S) district unit also criticized the CM and called the budget “anti-farmer”.

Rani channamma

Meanwhile, Karnataka activists Nava Nirman Vedike also staged a protest demanding that the government take action to declare Rani Channamma’s “samadhi” in the city of Bailhongal a national monument and develop it accordingly. The vedike also called on the government to install life-size statues of Rani Channamma and his trusted lieutenant Sangolli Rayanna at the premises of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in the town of Belagavi.

Industry dissatisfied

Satish Tendolkar, former chairman of the Belagavi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the government had denied the industries’ expectations. He said the CM had not uttered a single word for the Belagavi industry. No special package was offered to Belagavi, which the government claimed to develop on lines to Karnataka’s second capital, an increase in the motor vehicle tax that would negatively affect the auto industry. As there has been no direct relief for industry in Karnataka, industrial growth is expected to suffer in the next fiscal year, he added.

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