Bengaluru, July 26: The farm loan waiver in Karnataka remains a burning political issue. After Karnataka chief minister HD Kumarswamy announced a total of Rs 44,700 crore crop loan waiver for farmers, the main opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), began a padayatra (foot march) to demand complete farm loan waiver on Thursday.
The three-day protest march from Kumaraswamy's constituency, Ramanagara, to Bengaluru, the state capital, will cover a distance of 48 kms. Along with BJP leaders, around 3,000 farmers are a part of the padayatra.
When reporters asked Kumaraswamy about the padayatra of the BJP, he strangely welcomed it. But the CM asked the Opposition to appreciate him for announcing farm loan waiver.
"I welcome the BJP's padayatra. At least they are fighting in favour of the farmers. I have waived farmers' loans, they should appreciate me for it," Kumaraswamy was quoted as saying by ANI.
I welcome BJP's Padayatra, at least they are fighting in favour of the farmers. I am waving farmers loans, they should appreciate me for it: Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy pic.twitter.com/Ch44ILLWSD— ANI (@ANI) July 26, 2018
After the Rs 34,000 crore crop loan waiver for farmers in the state in the recent budget, the CM announced an additional Rs 10,700 crore loan waiver for farmers.
The BJP wants the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S))alliance government in the state to waive off all loans of the farmers including development loan.
The reports say the ruling regime is unlikely to meet the demand for a complete loan waiver for farmers.
The farmers in the state are struggling a lot as the last few years have been very difficult for them because of the drought leading to their crop destruction. The loss of crop has financially hit the farmers and many of them have committed suicide.
In fact, during the campaigning for the Karnataka Assembly elections, which took place in May, the JD(S) had promised a complete loan waiver for farmers.