In the run-up to Assembly elections in Karnataka, farmers from across Mysuru and Mandya met in Mysuru on March 14 and resolved that support to political parties will hinge on them agreeing to their demands, which have been laid down in a ‘farmers’ manifesto’.
Federation of Farmers’ Organisation and Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) leaders discussed issues plaguing farmers and the agricultural sector. They decided to support only such parties and candidates who announce support to their demands and incorporate them in the election manifesto.
Kurubur Shanthakumar of Sugarcane Cultivators’ Association said, “Political parties should announce their commitment to introduce an income scheme for farmers. It should reflect in their election manifesto so that they could be held accountable.
“While the government does not think twice about waiving off loans amounting to thousands of crores of rupee of industrialists by classifying them as bad debt, political parities should commit themselves to waive off loans availed by farmers who are in distress due to lack of support price for agricultural produce.
“The political parties should also commit themselves to announce interest-free agricultural loans to help farmers sustain themselves.
“Farmers want CIBIL score to be delinked from agricultural loans on the ground that the repayment cycle gets affected due to vagaries of market and nature. On the other hand, CIBIL score affects a farmer’s access to fresh loans.”
The Federation of Farmers’ Organisations said the GST on agriculture-related equipment should be withdrawn while crop insurance schemes should cover all crops cultivated by farmers.
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has resolved to support only such parties that announce and incorporate in their election manifesto their demand for rescinding the amendment to Land Reforms Act. The KRRS also wants the amendment to the APMC Act to be withdrawn along with the law banning cow slaughter.
Badagalpura Nagendra, president of KRRS, said, “Land Reforms Act and other laws are inimical to farmers.”
He wants the Congress to spell out its stance on introducing legislation to make minimum support price for agricultural produce mandatory rather than it being advisory in nature, as at present. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi had accepted the demand as legitimate during the Bharat Jodo yatra, and the State Congress should spell out its stance on this issue, Mr. Nagendra added.
He wants even the Janata Dal (Secular), which claims to be supportive of farmers, to announce its stance on key demands of farmers.