Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly H.D. Kumaraswamy said the winter session “completely” failed in meeting the expectations of the people, especially in taking up issues pertaining to north Karnataka region.

Speaking to presspersons on Friday, the last day of the session, Mr. Kumaraswamy said people had expected specific responses from the government on the issues plaguing north Karnataka, but they were “totally” disappointed. The government’s prime concern was to get some bills, which were important for it, passed, rather than discussing burning issues of the State, he said.

Noting that he was personally satisfied with the way Janata Dal (Secular) tackled the issue pertaining to people, especially the farming community, he said, as leader of the Opposition, he had raised problems being encountered by coconut, pomegranate, grapes, maize and other crops, and sought government’s response. “But, the government’s response was disappointing,” he said.

Though he had planned to discuss issues such as substandard drugs being procured for government hospitals; eviction of tribal people from forests; utilisation of funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act; and problems faced by farmers in getting land mutation certificates from revenue offices, he could not do so, because the sugarcane growers’ concerns consumed much of the session.

Refuting allegations that JD(S) was soft on the Congress during the session, he said the party did not want to provide an opportunity for the government to exploit the “situation” and wind up the session. Accusing both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of protecting the interests of sugar mill owners, Mr. Kumaraswamy said: “Both national parties succumbed to the sugar lobby and made growers’ the sacrificial goat.”

Regretting that he did not have time to discuss the impact of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal final award, he said the government was not serious about its implications. There was a need to convene a special session to discuss the issue, he said.

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