The Karnataka State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday set a deadline for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to act on its three main demands before the State Legislature meets for the winter session at the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belgaum.

The party threatened to not allow the government to enter Suvarna Vidhana Soudha if the following demands were not met – announcement of State Advised Price (SAP) for sugarcane for the current crushing season, release of Rs. 1,800 crore due to various co-operative banks on account of the waiver of crop loans, and dropping of Minister of State for Infrastructure Santosh Lad.

The BJP had organised a rally and a public meeting outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here. Mr. Shettar said his government had announced a crop loan waiver of up to Rs. 25,000 in view of the two-year drought faced by farmers in the State, which cost the State government Rs. 3,600 crore. Nearly 17 lakh farmers were to be benefitted by the waiver. Of this, his government had released Rs. 1,800 crore and could have released the remaining amount had it returned to power.

But, Mr. Siddaramaiah was dilly dallying on releasing the remaining amount to District Central Co-operative (DCC) banks to enable them to release fresh crop loans.

Also, Mr. Siddaramaiah was delaying on announcement of SAP for sugarcane, he said. Mr. Eshwarappa alleged the Chief Minister was protecting Mr. Lad even after Governor H.R. Bhardwaj made critical observations on his (Santosh Lad) involvement in the mining scam.

He further alleged Mr. Lad was being protected as he had paid large amounts to KPCC leaders. Earlier, former Agriculture Minister Umesh V. Katti demanded the government pay Rs. 1000 per tonne of sugarcane to growers

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