In a display of solidarity with farmers facing crisis in the state, Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday sowed paddy saplings in a muddied agriculture field in a village in Mandya district. Folding up his white dhoti in a traditional south Indian style, Kumaraswamy planted saplings at Aralukuppe village.
The objective of Kumaraswamy’s programme was to urge the agriculturists not to take any drastic steps like suicide in the face of distress, a government release said. It is also seen as a move to silence critics in the opposition that he was fully aware of the problems faced by farmers.
Before venturing into the field, Kumaraswamy paid his obeisance to Lord Hanuman at the local Anjaneya temple.
As soon as Kumaraswamy started sowing the saplings amid a steady drizzle, people thronged the venue to catch a glimpse of the chief minister. Utter commotion prevailed as youth tried to take selfies with him.
Later, addressing the gathering, Kumaraswamy said he has concern for farmers as he himself has worked in the agriculture field. “I know your sufferings. I myself sowed saplings, harvested crops and carried manure on my head..,” he said.
Kumaraswamy said he has decided to visit one district a month and devote a full day working in the field. He further said he has prepared a blue print to improve the agriculture sector and a policy was in the offing to increase their income.
However, details of the policy cannot be revealed until the cabinet clears it, he said. The chief minister appealed to the farmers not to take any extreme step when they were facing distress as the state government has taken measures to redress their grievances. Kumaraswamy also flayed the opposition parties for terming the event a ‘drama’.
“I have not come here to stage any drama but to show my concern for farmers,” said the chief minister. Nirmalananda Nath Swamiji of Aadi Chunchanagiri Math, a prominent seer of Nath sect, started by Gorakhnath, too came to the venue to support the chief minister.