JD(S) blames BJP for sugarcane growers' hardships

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Bangalore, Dec 19 (UNI) Janata Dal(S) today blamed the BJP for the crisis being faced by sugarcane growers in Karnataka.

Speaking to reporters, JD (S) here state unit President Merajuddin Patel said the funds sanctioned for the payment of compensation to the sugarcane farmers was not released due to the ''apathy'' of the then coalition partner BJP, which did not cooperate in releasing it.

''The then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had sanctioned Rs 45 crore towards payment of compensation, but only Rs six crore of this has been released so far,'' he said.

The sugarcane farmers in the state had a loan burden of Rs 140 crore during 2006-07 and to help them clear this, it was necessary to sanction at least another Rs 65 crore as compensation. There was also an urgent need to hike the supporting price of sugarcane by Rs 100 per tonne, he said.

Mr Patel said he would submit a memorandum to Governor Rameshwar Thakur, urging him to help the sugarcane farmers come out of the crisis, by releasing an additional amount of Rs 65 crore as compensation.

He criticised Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar for 'not making any announcement to help the sugarcane growers in the state.' UNI

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