Nalin Kumar Kateel, Dakshina Kannada MP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, said on Thursday that the State government’s sudden decision to ban gutka will spell doom for a large number of arecanut growers.

Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, Mr. Kateel said thousands of farmers in Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Chikmagalur, and Shimoga grew arecanut. The government’s decision would affect the livelihood of these arecanut growers.

Instead of banning Gutka, the State government should have taken other measures such as removal of addictive substances which went in the manufacturing of gutka. Even if the government decided to remove arecanut products from gutka, it should have come up with some alternative scheme to help arecanut growers.

“We are not against the ban on gutka, but the government should come up with an alternative programme to help arecanut growers”, he said.

Though many states banned gutka, the former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar had not banned Gutka as it would affect a large number of farmers. Instead, he provided support price for arecanut, he said.

Mr. Kateel said the government’s reported move to bring the Sri Krishna Math/Temple under the Muzrai Department too was not well thought of. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had not been able to explain the reason for this reported move.

The State government’s other move to reverse the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2012 passed by the previous BJP government, and restore the previous Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, too was a wrong move. “Both these moves were against the sentiments of the majority community”, Mr. Kateel said.

Kota Srinivas Poojary and Monappa Bhandary, MLCs, were present.

  • ‘The government should have come up with an alternative scheme to help arecanut growers’

  • Government’s move to reverse the cow slaughter bill was a wrong move, says Kateel