The Congress is gearing up to organise a convention of farmers in north Karnataka in October.
Announcing this at the launch of a booklet focussing on the problems of farmers on account of the BJP government’s “misrule” in the State, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara said the party’s president, Sonia Gandhi, would be invited to attend the convention.
Dr. Parameshwara said though Bagalkot was being considered a venue, a final decision had not been taken.
The Congress’ announcement on the farmers’ convention comes on the eve of the party’s tour of drought-hit regions.
Four teams, headed by Dr. Parameshwara, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council S.R. Patil and the former Minister D.K. Shivakumar will tour different parts of the State and submit a report to the State government as well as the Centre. Dr. Parameshwara said the BJP government in the State was “playing politics” by accusing the Centre of not coming to its aid, and added that the Congress-led Union government had waived farm loans worth Rs. 72,000 crore.
Alleging that the State government had gone bankrupt, Dr. Parameshwara said that instead of passing the buck on to the Centre, the State government should take an all-party delegation to the Centre and press for release of additional aid to tackle drought. He said Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar should immediately take an all-party delegation comprising all the 28 MPs of the State to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and seek additional funds.
Earlier, Dr. Parameshwara released the booklet titled Bharatiya Janata Partiya Tughlaq Durbar – Dikketta Raitharu, written by Anand Kumar, senior vice-president, Kisan Congress Committee, Karnataka.