The party also announced Rs. 1 crore aid to flood-hit Tamil Nadu.
Bengaluru: The Karnataka farmers called for a state-wide bandh today on Saturday, September 5, agitating over the Central and the State government’s alleged indifference towards the rising cases of farmer suicides in the state.
Several protest rallies are held across Karnataka, especially in Bengaluru. This is the second bandh in the State in less than a week and this time the bandh call has been given by the Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers Association and the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene.
Farmers, social organisations and pro-Kannada organisations are expected to take an active part in the bandh. However, it has not created much impact like the recent Bharat Bandh, which was observed on Sept 2.
In order to end the crisis of farmers’ suicide, the association has demanded that the Centre and State government waive off crop loans taken by farmers from nationalized and cooperative banks as the drought situation in the state has adversely affected production, the farmers demanded.
Earlier, KSSGA president Kurubur Shanthakumar had also said that in order to put pressure on the authorities, the association will observe a bandh and also be part of the agitation till the demand is met.
Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) has also extended its support to the protest. KSCA, headed by its secretary Brijesh Patel, has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Siddaramaiah.
The state-wide bandh is unlikely to disrupt normal life in Bengaluru, state capital. Buses and autos are also expected to ply in the city as usual.
Bengaluru: State government has been asked to file an affidavit in two weeks listing out the measures taken to prevent farmers from committing suicide by High Court on Friday.
The directive came from a division bench of acting Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice B V Nagarathna which was hearing the PIL filed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority over non-implementation of programmes launched for farmers such as Suvarna bhoomi.
Advocate Poonam Patil, representing KSLSA, drew the attention of the bench to the issues of farmers. Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar sought two weeks’ time to file the affidavit. Kumar told the court that the state is facing severe drought. He also said that the farmers are further stressed due to falling prices of sugar — it has dropped from Rs 30 to Rs 20 per kg — and non-payment of dues by sugar mills.
Lucknow: Around 25,000 farmers in Mathura have sought permission from President Pranab Mukherjee to commit suicide on August 15 after a 17-year-long struggle to get compensation from the government failed to meet success.
Construction of Gokul Barrage had submerged 700 acres of land and the farmer from 11 villages have been fighting for compensation since 1998.
As per government sources, 25,000 farmers are due to get Rs 800 crore as compensation for lost 700 acres of land.
Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, an off-shoot of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, took their cause and the agitating farmers even faced bullets in November 2014 but nothing has happened so far.
In February this year, when the farmers sat on dharna, several protesters were falsely implicated for loot and dacoity.
Finally seeing that there are no hopes of justice being made, the farmers under the aegis of Sangha wrote a letter to the President on Saturday seeking permission to hang themselves.
Bengaluru: “The state government has written to the Prime Minister’s office to finalise the date to discuss with all-party delegation the issue of farmer suicides, pending irrigation projects and financial assistance required for it”, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Wednesday August 5.
After meeting families of farmers who committed suicide, the CM said that he would lead a delegation of leaders of all parties and ask Prime Minister Modi to seek his intervention in view of the drought situation and increasing number of cases of farmer suicides.
He also mentioned that the state government has commenced a survey of districts which received scanty rainfall this year, adding that several taluks would be declared drought-hit soon. He assured early implementation of inter-state Kalasa-Banduri irrigation project with the intervention of Mr Modi.
“We are expected to go after August 10. All bottlenecks for Kalasa-Banduri project will be cleared soon,” he assured.
New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission has expressed ‘grave’ concern over alleged farmers’ suicides in Mandya district of Karnataka over low payment by sugar mills and issued a notice to the state government seeking a reply within four weeks.
Mandya, known as the ‘sugar bowl’ of Karnataka, has seen a spate of farmer deaths as the mills were paying them Rs 700-800 per tonne, despite the Chief Minister’s promise of purchasing at Rs 2,500 per tonne, the NHRC said.
The deaths due to suicides by farmers is of grave concern and calls for prompt and quick remedial steps by the government, the rights body said.
It has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka calling for a report in the matter within four weeks.
Referring to a media report in this regard, it said that the “negligence” by the state and Union governments in the matter of fixing fair price, payment of arrears by mills and a sugarcane glut are the main reasons for the sudden spike in the suicides.
Bengaluru: Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Monday began a hunger strike here demanding discussion in Parliament on the farmers’ suicide in the country.
Flanked by party MPs, MLAs, and Samajwadi Party supporters at Jantar Mantar here, the JD(S) leader said that his hunger strike will continue till a discussion takes place on the issue of farmers’ suicide in Parliament. Asked about Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh’s reply in Parliament on farmers’ suicide, he said it was the worst statement made by the Agriculture Minister.
“It is one of the worst statements made by the Agriculture Minister. It is unbecoming of the Agriculture Minister at the national level. I am so sorry, how Prime Minister Narendra Modi tolerated this type of statement,” Gowda said adding that it should be condemned. Stressing that it is the beginning of a struggle, he expressed concern over the death of thousands of farmers in the country.
“In particular, 16 farmers are committing suicide in Karnataka everyday. Even today nine farmers died,” Gowda said, SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, CPI(M)leader Sitaram Yechury, JD(U) Sharad Yadav, CPI leader D Raja have extended their support to the hunger strike.
New Delhi: Dowry, love affairs and impotency were among the reasons for the deaths of over 1,400 farmers in India this year, Narendra Modi-led Union government’s Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
“According to the National Crime Records Bureau, causes of (farmer) suicides include family problems, illness, drugs…dowry, love affairs and impotency,” he told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a question as to what caused the death of so many farmers in the country.
The minister’s reply, however, did not rule out debt as one of the reasons. The remarks on suicide by over 1,400 farmers in the last one year, by the government’s own admission, are bound to provide fresh fodder to a belligerent opposition, which has been targeting the Narendra Modi government on the controversial land bill, dubbed as “anti-farmer and anti-poor”.
A total of 5,650 farmers committed suicide in 2014, with the maximum deaths reported from Maharashtra, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, official data revealed.
According to “Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2014” report released by the bureau, of the 5,650 farmers who committed suicide, 5,178 were men and 472 were women. “The highest incidents of 2,568 suicides of farmers were in Maharashtra (45.5%), followed by 898 suicides in Telangana (15.9%) and 826 in Madhya Pradesh (14.6%),” the data revealed.
Amravati: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi Thursday began a 15-km day-long padyatra in Amravati district in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, during which he is meeting the families of farmers who committed suicide.
Rahul, who reached Nagpur last night, left this morning for village Gunji to begin the foot march dubbed as ‘sanvad padyatra’.
On the way to Gunji, people were seen lined up on roads at Kondhali and Talegaon villages to greet the Congress leader.
Rahul stopped at Talegaon for some time, before proceeding to Gunji.
Rahul spoke to the people who greeted him and sought to know their problems and the issues affecting them.
He will be visiting five villages between Gunji to Ramgaon and will meet the farmers who have suffered crop losses due to unseasonal rain. He is accompanied by MPCC president Ashok Chavan and senior state Congress leaders.
Maharashtra is one of the states that experienced severe agrarian crisis and Amravati division in Vidarbha region has witnessed many suicide cases of farmers this year.
Ahead of his visit, a farmer, Gajanan Sheshrao Khongal, allegedly committed suicide by jumping into a well in Morshi tehsil of the district on Tuesday.
Chandigarh: Haryana Agriculture Minister O P Dhankar has stoked a controversy with insensitive remarks that farmers who commit suicide are “cowards” and “criminals”, drawing severe flak from the Opposition with Rahul Gandhi raking it up in Parliament today.
“Committing suicide is a crime, according to Indian law. Any person who commits suicide escapes from his responsibilities and leaves the burden on his wife and innocent children and such people are cowards,” Dhankar, who earlier headed the BJP’s Kisan Cell, said yesterday.
Asked about compensation to kin of farmers who committed suicide, the Minister said,
“An institution like government cannot stand behind cowards (those committing suicides) and cannot be with a criminal.”
The Congress slammed the Minister’s “insensitive” remarks and demanded that he be sacked. The issue also echoed in Parliament with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi citing it to attack the ruling BJP.
“Your minister in Haryana now says that farmers who commit suicide are cowards. You did not help them when their crops were affected by hailstorm, the farmers bore it. You ended their bonus, they bore it. You did not give them fertilisers, they were lathicharged, but they bore it and now their produce is lying in the markets,” Gandhi said in Lok Sabha.
Attacking Manohar Lal Khattar government, Haryana Congress President Ashok Tanwar said, “This shows the insensitive mindset of the BJP Government towards the farmers. Will the Khattar government wake up from its deep slumber or will it wait till more farmers end their lives.”
Despite the uproar, Dhankar today defended his remarks saying the the issue of farmer suicides was “hype” and “motivated”.
He also referred to the alleged suicide by a farmer Gajendra Singh at an AAP rally in Delhi.
Slamming the minister’s remarks, Tanwar said “a farmer is not coward, but those who are sitting in the government and escape from responsibility are the biggest cowards.”
He also said that “a farmer, who feeds the nation and whose children guard our borders, is brave”.
“We demand that either he should resign or he should be sacked by the Chief Minister,” the Congress leader said.
However, Dhankar today said the state government is doing its best to help the farmers and remained unrepentant about his remarks.
“I stand by my previous statement,” the Minister said.
“Drama is taking place ‘suicide, suicide’. I am doing my best to help the farmers…. I have been working with farmers since last 10 years. There are (crop) failures but committing suicide is not a solution.
“Facilities should be there so that they can restart from zero. We are with the farmers…. A drama happened in Delhi. Everyone saw it. That should not happen,” he said.
Referring to the Delhi incident, Dhankar yesterday told reporters, “One party termed it as motivated murder… it is unfortunate that a farmer had taken such a step in the presence of no less than a person than the Chief Minister himself”.
He also added, “People of Haryana are strong, they do not leave burden on their wives and innocent children, they themselves face the challenges. They are brave soldiers. In everyone’s life there are difficulties and one has to face them and move on.”
The Haryana Minister’s comments came on queries related to incidents of farmers allegedly committing suicide because of heavy crop damage and if the government was contemplating to give any compensation to their kin.
“This is not an issue to be assessed. Society does not stand with cowards, fugitives…after all who does not face difficulties in one’s life, but one has to face it strongly,” he said.
Earlier yesterday, when asked about the issue, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said that it was very difficult to find out the actual reasons behind such incidents of suicide.
“It is always painful if somebody dies. It is difficult to know reasons for he takes his life which may be because of old debt, poor financial condition,” Khattar had said.