Raising the issue, Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar said government was creating a wedge among people, specially dairy farmers by providing an additional incentive to SC and ST dairy farmers. "Providing monetary incentive based on a person's caste is obnoxious step," he said.
Instead, government should think of alternative means to economically empower SC and ST dairy farmers, Shettar said. "We are not against the government empowering SC and ST people. It can extend the incentive to all dairy farmers irrespective of their communities," he said.
Responding to Shettar, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government was not dividing people or dairy farmers on caste basis. "Infact, it is the BJP which divides people on the basis of caste and religion. Congress does not do that. BJP is anti-Dalits and anti-minority," he said.
His remarks provoked BJP with its members and those from Treasury benches locked in a verbal duel, causing pandemonium. Amidst ruckus, former Minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri (BJP) said, "If the Congress is really pro-Dalits and concerned about their welfare, it should make Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G Parameshwara as the Deputy Chief Minister."
"The Congress is not ready to make Parameshwara the Deputy Chief Minister and yet it claims to be pro-Dalits. How fair is that?" questioned Kageri, which again led to more heated exchanges.