Yeddyurappa gives a distress call to PM on fertiliser shortage

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New Delhi, June 11 (UNI) Feeling the heat of the farmers unrest over the insufficient supply of fertilisers, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking him to ensure adequate quantity of fertilisers in the state and bail out the farmers in distress.

The Chief Minister, accompanied by a host of Cabinet members including Home Minister Dr V S Achar were assured by the PM that he had directed Fertilisers Minister Ramvilas Paswan to the needful.

The delegation is due to meet Mr Paswan later tonight.

''I have full confidence in the Prime Minister. When I met him for the first time after assuming office, he promised to send a senior official to the state to study the situation. Likewise, Fertilisers Ministry Secretary did visit and assured Karnataka of supply increment on June 7,'' said Mr Yeddyurappa.

''The official had also directed the fertilisers manufacturers to supply 1.22 lakh tonnes of DAP and 90,000 MTs of Complex fertilisers during June. We have to wait for a few days before arriving at a conclusion,'' he added.

However, the storage of DAP and Complex fertilisers in the state was woefully indequate at the beginning of agricultural operations causing anxiety all over the state. Some farmers were buying out of panic while some merchants too were tending to blackmarket their products taking advantage of the situation.

He however put the blame on the Central government and the administration during the previous President's Rule for the present crisis because adequate attention was not paid towards making the fertilisers available.

Certainly there was a sense of bias against the BJP and NDA-ruled states in supply of fertilisers, he said.

The problem seem to have accentuated as the fertiliser units were not functioning because of non-release of subsidy amount.

Mr Yeddyurappa avoided saying much on the killing of a farmer in Haveri in fertiliser related violence and said that a probe had been ordered.

He said it was a result of joining hands of political forces and anti-social elements. He added he had been to Haveri to console the family members of the victim killed yesterday.

''I have issued strict instructions to the police that there should be no use of bullets against the farmers whatever is the provocation,'' the Chief Minister said.

The delegation would be returning back to Bangalore to attend a scheduled Cabinet meeting and take stock of the farmers agitation.

In a related development, BJP Kissan Morcha office bearers had held a meeting in which they urged the Centre to step up supply of fertilisers to the BJP-ruled states.

They have urged the government to provide loans at four per cent interest and extend the loan waiver benefit of Rs 50,000 to farmers irrespective of their land holdings.

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