The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday staged a walkout in the Legislative Council after the Karnataka government refused to increase the State Advisory Price of sugarcane to Rs. 3,000 a tonne and to order a judicial probe into the suicide of sugarcane grower Vittal Bhimappa Arabhavi.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Rs. 2,500 a tonne would be paid by sugar factories and Rs. 150 a tonne by the government. This was arrived at scientifically after considering the prevailing price of sugar in the market (Rs. 2,600 to Rs. 2,700 a quintal). A magisterial inquiry into the suicide was sufficient as it would bring out the truth quickly when compared to a judicial inquiry, he said.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition D.V. Sadananda Gowda wanted the government to pay at least Rs. 350 more a tonne as the cost of production had increased manifold. He also wanted the government to ensure that sugar factories pay the specified price to farmers.

He said, on Thursday, two sugarcane-laden trucks were not allowed into Jamkhandi sugar factory as the factory wanted the farmers to sign an agreement agreeing to Rs. 2,000 a tonne.

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