‘There was no mention of a special package for farmers’

Opposition parties — Janata Dal (S) and BJP — on Tuesday dubbed the speech of All-India Congress Committee president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Mandya as the “biggest disappointment to the people of the State” as she did not mention a special package to bailout farmers hit by severe floods and drought during the kharif season.

Addressing reporters here, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly H.D. Kumaraswamy and State BJP general secretary C.T. Ravi alleged that people were disappointed with Ms. Gandhi’s speech.

Distribution of laddoos to the crowd and Ms. Gandhi wishing the people of the Sate for Dasara in Kannada were the only highlights of the event, they said.

Government machinery was used extensively to bring people from different districts to the rally, they alleged. “We were expecting that Ms. Gandhi may announce a special package to the Sate, but she did nothing except praising the Chef Minister for his governance. The UPA chairperson claimed credit for bringing the Food Security Act. Did she realise the problems of the poor after nine-and-a-half years? What has the Congress contributed in the last six decades?” Mr. Kumaraswamy said. It was a matter of shame that the State government did not submit a detailed report on the losses caused to roads, bridges and agricultural crops due to heavy rain this year. Agricultural and horticultural crops worth over Rs. 5,000 crore were lost due to erratic monsoon he said.

The JD(S) leader hit out at Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for not releasing the promised compensation to farmers. The first instalment of Rs. 12,000 per hectare to each arecanut grower had not been released yet. The growers of coconut, pomegranate and grapes were in distress due to crop loss, he said.

Meeting today

He said a meeting of the JD(S) would be held in Bangalore on Wednesday to chart out the course of action against the Congress government.

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