Staff Correspondent

Babagouda Patil stresses the need for protecting interests of growers

DHARWAD: The former Union Minister Babagouda Patil, farmers’ leader, has said that farmers themselves were responsible for their sorry state.

Addressing a meeting of the Dharwad Taluk Hechchuvari Jameenu Horata Samiti, Mr. Patil said it was regretting to note that farmers who were once self-reliant were now taking the extreme step of committing suicide.

The saimiti, which came into existence nearly five months ago, has taken up the issue of getting what is considered “excess land” after the implementation of the Tenancy Act, to farmers.

Since caste-based politics had gained prominence, farmers’ organisations had lost their strength, and capitalist forces had become stronger by adopting the divide and rule policy against farmers, he said.

Mr. Patil said that the area of fertile agricultural land was reducing every year. “Even if the farmland is fertile, governments have developed the tendency of appeasing entrepreneurs by giving them such land. There is a dire need for growers to unite against government’s tendency of appeasing mill owners or entrepreneurs at the cost of farmers,” he said.

Mr. Patil said that the need to safeguard the interests of society should become important rather than caste-based politics. And the first step in this regard should be taken by protecting the interests of farmers, he said.

He also underscored the need for growers to introspect in the wake of increased number of farmers committing suicide. Writer Mohan Nagammanavar welcomed the gathering. President of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike Ramesh Badnur, president of the district unit of Valmiki Sangha Surveshbabu Talawar and Rehman Holi were among those present.