KARNATAKA

‘Congress committed to farmers’ welfare’

Staff Correspondent

Jayaprakash Hedge joins the party

Kundapur (Udupi District): President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee M. Mallikarjun Kharge said on Sunday that the Congress was committed to the welfare of the farmers and the weaker sections of society.

He was speaking at a Congress workers’ convention held here to induct the former MLA K. Jayaprakash Hegde into the Congress.

Mr. Hegde had won three times in a row from Brahmavar Assembly constituency — in 1994 on Janata Dal ticket, and in 1999 and 2004 as an independent. The constituency has gone out of existence due to the Delimitation notification. Mr. Hegde was Minister of State for Ports and Fisheries in the J.H. Patel Government.

Mr. Kharge said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government had allocated Rs. 60,000 crore in its budget for waiver of farm loans. In addition, the Centre had also directed public sector banks to provide loans to farmers. The BJP had made false claims of helping farmers. The Karnataka Development Front Government, of which the BJP was a partner, had reduced the allocation to irrigation sector to Rs. 3,300 crore from Rs. 4,300 crore, which the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) Government had provided, he alleged.

“The enemy of the Congress is not the BJP or the Janata Dal (Secular), but fellow Congressmen. It is incumbent upon all Congressmen to stop infighting and face the elections in unitedly,” Mr. Kharge said.

Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Oscar Fernandes said the Centre had started the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to help the poor people.

The former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Congress leaders Gopal Poojary, Vasanth Salian, U.R. Sabhapathi, Pramod Madhwaraj, M.A. Gafoor, Raju Poojary and others were present.

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