The leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the Karnataka Assembly has dared Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to emulate BJP Chief Ministers in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra by waiving the loans of state farmers.
Speaking in the Assembly on Tuesday, BJP leader Jagadish Shettar threatened to launch an agitation in the state if the Congress government failed to announce a loan waiver for farmers.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was widely expected to announce a loan waiver for farmers in his budget in April — the last full budget before the 2018 polls in the state — but did not do so. There is speculation that the Congress could announce a loan waiver ahead of the polls.
The BJP is, meanwhile, questioning the Karnataka government’s reluctance to waive loans, as was done in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. “Why is our Chief Minister, who is in office for a fifth year now, not doing what has been done by the CMs of UP and Maharashtra?” Shettar asked the CM in the Assembly on Tuesday.
The BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have waived farm loans to the tune of Rs 36,000 crore and 30,000 crore, respectively, on their own, Shettar said.
“BJP leaders are studying the situation of farmers in the state. Everywhere people are demanding waiver of farm loans. If the government fails to announce a waiver, we will stage a protest,” he said.