Power shortage will not affect free power offer to farmers: CM

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Bangalore, July 17 (UNI) Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today said the current power shortage in the state will not come in the way of the governments resolution to provide free power to farmers.

Speaking at a press conference after presenting his budget for 2008-09 he said the shortage of power was only temporary and the government would make all efforts to improve the power position in the coming days.

Stating that the farming community was in a real distress, he said he would hold a meeting with leaders of opposition to discuss steps to mitigate the issues like shortage of fertilisers, power and drought like situation by next week.

"Organic farming and dry farming have received full impetus in my budget," he said.

A honest attempt had been made in the budget to protect the interests of cross section of the society including the welfare of SCs, STs and BCs, minorities and women, he said.

"I have tried to fulfill 90 per cent of promises made in the BJP manifesto and we are committed to fulfill the remaining promises," he said.

Leader of opposition in the Karnataka a Legislative Assembly, Mallikarjuna Kharge, described the budget as a populist and not development oriented. It would further push the inflation rates in the country further.

He also pointed out that the poll promise of providing rice at Rs two per kg did not get a mention in the budget.

The budget allocation to rural, irrigation and agriculture sectors was far less in comparison to the last budget, he said.

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