Staff Correspondent

Bidar: The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha has demanded a special session of Parliament only to discuss issues related to agriculture. A delegation led by Basavaraj Tambake, president of the All-India Federation of Farmers' Associations and others met Speaker Meira Kumar in New Delhi recently and placed this demand before her.

In a memorandum to the Speaker, the leaders said the condition of farmers had been pathetic for centuries and had not changed even after Independence. Successive governments had brought out and implemented anti-farmer policies which had made farmers suffer. Governments in independent India had continued some policies formed by the British only to harass farmers and make them slaves of the market. Policies of revenue, levy, pricing, land acquisition and excise and laws like the Essential Commodities Act had seen to it that farmers remained poor. The plight of farmers had worsened after the new economic policy was implemented in 1991. The cost of cultivation had gone up as farm inputs had become costly.

However, farm products don't get remunerative prices and farming had become a loss-making proposition, he said. The leaders also urged the Speaker to include discussions on various aspects of agriculture.