‘BJP Government is trying to divide farmers'

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha will organise a State-level farmers' convention at Gadag on July 21 to organise farmers to fight against the Government's move to acquire agricultural land in the name of industrialisation.

Addressing presspersons here on Saturday, Chamarasa Malipatil, vice-president of the State unit of the sangha, alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party Government was trying to divide farmers while acquiring agricultural land for industrial purposes.

He alleged that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Minister for Large- and Medium-Scale Industries Murugesh R. Nirani were subverting the unity of farmers by giving different opinions on the issue of acquiring agricultural land in Gadag district.

While the Chief Minister had declared that the Government would not allot any land to POSCO, Mr. Nirani was allegedly using a group of farmers (who were affiliated to the BJP in Gadag district) to weaken the farmers' unity to succeed in acquiring land for POSCO.

He alleged the Government had employed similar tactics in other parts of the State to grab land from farmers at throwaway prices and sell it to multinational companies at a huge profit. “A few years ago, the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) had acquired about 2,000 acres of agricultural land at Yermarus village near Raichur.

“It has been trying to convince farmers in Vadalur and Pothagal villages near Yermarus to acquire another 2,000 acres of farmland now for industrial purpose. But so far the Government has not been able to set up any big industries in the land it has already acquired,” he said.

He said that at a recent meeting of the State committee of the sangha it was decided to oppose the move of the Government if it proposed to acquire more land than required from farmers while inviting industrialists to set up their units in the State.

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