Former Karnataka Chief Minister and state JDS chief H D Kumaraswamy on Friday asked the Siddaramaiah government to quit if it cannot announce the farm loan waiver. Promising to help farmers if voted to power, Kumaraswamy said he is not deterred by the cases against him (relating to alleged illegal mining) and was ready to face more. Speaking during the discussion on demands in the Legislative Assembly, he accused the Siddaramaiah government of not meeting the expectations of farmers, who are facing consecutive years of severe drought. Expressing concern over rising number of farmer suicides, he said Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have seen violent agitations by farmers, despite good agriculture sector growth.
“Our government is lucky because our farmers and people are still patient and are maintaining peace,”Kumaraswamy said. Pointing out that Congress leaders are holding 72 hours fast in Madhya Pradesh demanding farm loan waiver when their party government has not made similar announcement in Karnataka, he said Yeddyurappa and BJP leaders also have threatened a stir on the same issue, but are unable to get any support from the central government.
He advised the Chief Minister not to wait for the Centre and do whatever is possible under it’s purview. “The Central government has not committed to even Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh governments.. still they have taken steps towards farm loan waiver. The state government should also work towards it,” he said.
However, expressing doubts over the extent to which such loan waivers can provide relief to farmers, the JD(S) leader said it can only give some temporary relief and added that the state government should show its “political will”. Noting that there is talk in political circles that JD(S) speaks about farm loan waiver, because it is aware that the party won’t come to power, Kumaraswamy said “I have taken it as a challenge.”
“My aim is that after coming to power we will have a weather based cropping pattern according to which farmers will grow their crops in accordance to the guidance and government will take the responsibility of farm loans.” “I have certain ideas and we shall implement them for the betterment of farmers in the state,” he added. He also urged the government to announce the date by which government would announce the waiver so that farmers don’t commit suicide, at least in anticipation of that being done. “If you can’t announce the farm loan waiver, quit the office,” he said.
Citing opinions by some experts that there would be deficit rainfall this year as well, he warned the government and asked it to plan for alternative arrangements now itself. Referring to legal cases against him, Kumaraswamy said “let them put more cases against me, I’m ready to fight. Have nothing to fear.” “People are talking- when I will go to jail, what will happen to me. I’m not living in a glass house; many others who are living in glass houses have to fear.I will again come to power. I have taken everything seriously….will not do politics of hate,” he said.