K'taka budget: Farmers cheated, says Bangarappa

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Bangalore, Jul 18: Former Karnataka Chief Minister S Bangarappa on Friday, July 18 alleged that the Budget presented by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa does not protect the interests of farmers.

Talking to newsmen here, he charged that the expectations of farmers were dashed by the ruling BJP government which presented a budget which does not deal with the problems faced by farmers, including fertilizers, irrigation and power. He said there was no mention in the budget about steps by the state government to ensure supply of seeds to farmers. ''the supply of fertilizers and seeds is the duty of the government. Merely giving Rs 1000 to farmers would not enable them to get fertilizers and seeds, he charged. Mr Bangarappa alleged that Mr Yeddyurappa, who is also holding the finance portfolio, has cheated the farmers by announcing in the Budget free supply of power to irrigation pumpsets upto 10 HP when the state was facing 5000 MW shortage.

Besides, there was no mention of steps to increase power generation. ''When there is no availability of power how can you give free power, is it not a way of cheating the farmers,'' he questioned.

Wondering when government intends to supply free power how can it ask farmers to fix meters, Mr Bangarappa called upon farmers to protest against such move and not prevent installation of meters.

Referring to Rs 160 support price per ton of sugarcane not lifted by the factories, Mr Bangarappa said ''when this additional money has to be paid by the sugar factories, when many of them have closed down and some more are on the verge of closure, how can one expect payment from factories.

Mr Bangarappa alleged that the BJP government, by announcing permission for opening up of liquor shops in the rural areas, has proved that the party was built by Business class and not farmers.

When Mr Yeddyurappa himself introduced ban on sale of arrack in the state last year, why this sudden change, he asked, charging that it may be due to pressure from some corner.


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