KARNATAKA

Crop loss: Janata Dal(U) threatens agitation for relief

BIJAPUR, NOV. 29. Members of the Janata Dal (United) on Monday staged a dharna on the premises of the Deputy Commissioner's office to protest the alleged laxity on the part of the Government with regard to the crop insurance scheme.

They accused the Centre and the State Government of pursuing anti-people policy. The President of district unit of the party, M.H. Mahabari, and its Secretary-General, B.C. Kulkarni, alleged that the Government, which collected crop insurance premiums, did not pay them to the insurance company concerned. Because of this, farmers who suffered crop losses did not get any compensation under the insurance scheme. Besides losing crops such as cereals and pulses, many farmers had suffered losses after cultivating grape and pomegranate owing to poor rainfall in the district for the fourth consecutive year. Though the district received good rainfall initially, it faced deficit in the past two months, leading to crop losses. The party would launch an agitation if the Government did not take steps to help the affected farmers, they said.

They criticised the Government for "not taking steps to solve the electricity crisis" faced by farmers. Though the Government had promised to provide 12-hour uninterrupted power supply to irrigation pump-sets, farmers were not getting electricity even for six hours, they charged. The Janata Dal (U) leaders termed opportunistic the coalition Government of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular). Both the parties criticised each other before the elections, but came together to share power later.

They said farmers did not get remunerative prices for their produce. Prices of essential commodities had gone up and this showed that the Government was ignoring the interests of farmers and the poor, they added. The members submitted memoranda addressed to the President and the Governor to the Deputy Commissioner, Mohammad Mohsin, in support of their demands.

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