Kumaraswamy to unveil loan waiver tomorrow

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy with PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy with PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi.  

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has declared that he will be announcing his government’s plans for a farm loan waiver for the State in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Mr. Kumaraswamy was in Delhi on Monday to meet with the Congress top brass to decide on portfolios of Ministers in the coalition government that he heads, and also to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I will be putting forward my government’s plans for a farm loan waiver in very clear terms and with all modalities laid out. The BJP or Mr. Yeddyurappa, whose record on agriculture and rural distress is clear for all to see need not cast aspersions on my intent,” he said.

“All I said yesterday [Sunday] in a statement that was twisted by the media and the BJP, was that I’m in a coalition with the Congress and I need to speak to them too on farm loan waiver. The people of Karnataka have not given me the numbers to take the decisions on my own. But, this [farm loan waiver] is my solemn promise and I will deliver it, let no one have any doubt. I will leave politics if I renege on that, I am so sensitive on the issue. I did say I would do it in 24 hours of being elected, but I’m in a coalition. I have to work out the modalities in conjunction with the Congress,” he said.

Pointing out that four farmers had committed suicide in the State on Sunday, he asked whether the BJP or Mr. Yeddyurappa would take responsibility for it.

“In Karnataka politics, there is no one who is more among the people and accessible to them as I have been as Chief Minister and as a politician,” he said.

Mr. Kumaraswamy met with Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, and Leader of the Congress Legislature Party in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge in the morning.

Sources in both parties confirmed that Mr. Kumaraswamy wants to retain the finance portfolio though the Congress is claiming it along with home, rural development, irrigation, energy and others. The Janata Dal (S) has been given PWD, revenue, horticulture, agriculture and sericulture.

‘PM advised me’

On his meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr. Kumaraswamy said he sought coal allocations for the Raichur, Yeramarsu and Bellary thermal plants in the State on an urgent basis as their coal reserves were running low.

“Prime Minister Modi has a wide experience of politics and being at the helm of the administration, he gave me some advice which I have taken in a positive spirit,” he said.

Sources told The Hindu that Mr. Modi had advised Mr. Kumaraswamy to constitute his Council of Ministers quickly and therefore avoid taking too much load on himself. Sources characterised the meeting as a “courtesy call.”

Mr. Modi, the sources said, told him that the Centre will fully support the State. He also praised JD(S) national president Deve Gowda and said he had great respect for him. He lauded him as the only former PM who is still politically active.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 2:32:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kumaraswamy-to-unveil-loan-waiver-tomorrow/article24017581.ece

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