Waive farmers' dues on IP sets: former MLA

Staff Correspondent

TUMKUR: S.P. Muddahanume Gowda, Tumkur District Congress Committee President and former MLA, has demanded that the Government waive all dues of farmers owning irrigation pumpsets in view of the drought for the past four years in the district.

Mr. Gowda said the S.M. Krishna Government had levied a token fee on irrigation pumpsets. But H.D. Revanna, Minister for Energy, imposed a penalty of Rs. 17,600 on every pumpset.

"This is unscientific. The Congress will oppose it," he said.

Mr. Gowda urged the nine Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs from Tumkur district to bring pressure on their party President and former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, and obtain relief to the farmers here.

Mr. Gowda questioned the silence of H.D. Kumaraswamy, Working President of the State unit of the Janata Dal (S), on the irrigation pumpset issue.

"I fully support Mr. Kumaraswamy's demand for weightage for rural candidates in government recruitments. He must take up with Mr. Revanna the cause of irrigation pumpset owners also," the TDCC President said.

Farm institute

Mr. Gowda said that K. Srinivasa Gowda, Minister for Agriculture, recently toured the district and proposed that the University of Agricultural Sciences shall open an agricultural institute in a backward taluk. But the Janata Dal (S) MLAs are trying to block the proposal, he alleged.

Mr. Gowda said the Congress has been pressing the Union and the State governments to accord special status for Tumkur district under Article 371 of the Constitution on the basis of the D.M. Nanjundappa Committee report.

Neither Mr. Deve Gowda nor any of the Janata Dal (S) MLAs from the district has backed the demand, he charged.

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