Farmers, Congress workers take out massive rally in Bengaluru

Our Bureau. Bengaluru | Updated on January 20, 2021

Congress party workers take out a rally 'Raj Bhavan Chalo' in support of farmers protesting against the new farm laws, in Bengaluru, Wednesday, January 20   -  PTI

Siddaramaiah says Modi’s faulty farm policies blunted competitiveness of farmers

Expressing solidarity with protesting farmers in the Delhi border, farmers and Congress workers on Wednesday took out a massive rally in Bengaluru.

The rally was led by Opposition leader in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah and state Congress party president D K Shivakumar. Both the leaders travelled on a tractor in the rally.

Siddaramaiah in his address compared Congress party’s performance with that of BJP in the state and also UPA’s contribution in addressing farmers issues.

“Farmer suicides during the initial years of our governance were due to the mismanagement of the previous Karnataka BJP government. BJP leaders were busy in resorts counting horses and donkeys instead of addressing farmers’ issues.”

“The farm sector got impacted due to the export/import & MSP policies of the Narendra Modi government severely. The competitiveness of our farmers in the domestic and international markets got affected,” he added.

Talking about sericulture to which Karnataka is the leader, the Opposition leader said, “Silk farmers were adversely impacted due to reduced import duty on Chinese silk. The import duty was reduced from 30 percent to 5 percent as soon as Narendra Modi came to power. This resulted in distress among farmers.”

In 2015-16, when India was about to clock a bumper harvest in oil seeds, Narendra Modi reduced the import duty on palm oil. This severely impacted peanut and soy growers in the country.

Referring to imports, Siddaramaiah said, “An MoU was signed by the Narendra Modi government with Mozambique to import pulses due to which domestic producers were forced to sell at prices below MSP. Similar arrangements were made with Brazil and Myanmar.”

“Farmer suicides were highest in Maharashtra between 2015-18. Will BJP concede that their own party was the worst in the country? Or will it concede the fact that the farmer suicides were due to mismanagement of the Narendra Modi government?” he questioned.

Listing out Congress party’s contribution to Karnataka, Siddaramaiah said Karnataka BJP government failed to recharge lakes or groundwater between 2008-13 which led to severe crisis when Karnataka suffered from worst drought in 2014 and 2015. BJP leaders were in a race to go to jail rather than competing for development initiatives.

“Congress government took up numerous initiatives to address all the issues of farmers. 2.1 plus lakh rainwater harvesting farm ponds were created under Krishi Bhavya. 350 Krishi Yantra Dhare centres were opened enabling more than 8.16 lakh farmers to hire machines at low prices. Our government introduced short term interest free loans upto ₹3 lakh to farmers. 6.75 lakh plus farmers were benefitted. We were first in the country to transfer input subsidies directly to farmers’ accounts through Parihara online platform. 78.32 lakh soil cards were issued.”

Published on January 20, 2021

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