Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has promised leaders of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) that a meeting of sugar factory owners will be convened on Tuesday to discuss the issue of sugarcane price.

Subash, a leader of the KRRS, said on Monday that the Chief Minister had promised representatives of the KRRS and Hasiru Sene that the sugar factory owners would be directed to follow the government’s order on sugarcane price. Mr. Siddaramaiah also favoured legal action against factory owners who did not follow the order.

Earlier, activists of the farmers’ organisations began an indefinite dharna at the Freedom Park here asking the government to ensure that the factory owners pay them Rs. 2,500 for a tonne of sugarcane along with an incentive of Rs. 150. The police detained some of them anticipating trouble. Mr. Subash said the dharna would not be called off until the outcome of the meeting with sugar factory owners was known. Kodihalli Chandrashekar, KRRS president, said the government did not have political will to deal with the issue. “The CM should take action against sugar factories. Our agitation has benefited only sugar factory owners and not the growers. Several Ministers and MLAs themselves own sugar factories and are not abiding by the government order and are paying only Rs. 2,000,” he said. Meanwhile, police officials’ efforts to persuade farmers’ leaders to drop their ‘jail bharo’ programme went in vain.

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