Bengaluru (DHNS): Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwara are understood to have briefed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi about farmer suicides in Karnataka and invited him to visit districts where these deaths have taken place.
The two leaders, along with Cabinet ministers and senior Congress leaders from Karnataka, received Rahul at the Kempegowda International Airport here. The Congress vice president arrived in Bengaluru around 8.20 pm. He drove to Clarks Exotica Resort and Spa near the airport where he stayed overnight. Digvijaya Singh, the Congress general secretary in charge of Karnataka, later joined him at the resort. Rahul, who is scheduled to leave for Andhra Pradesh on Friday morning, remained inaccessible to reporters. The Congress party didn’t brief the media on his interaction with leaders from Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara later briefed him about the steps taken by the government and the Congress to address the problems of distressed farmers in Karnataka, sources in the party said. The chief minister, who had prepared a detailed report on farmer suicides, explained the steps taken by his government to fulfill the demands of sugar cane growers. He blamed the Union government, especially its decision to withdraw minimum support price to crops like maize, for farmers’ plight.
Karnataka had requested the Centre to come to the rescue of sugar cane farmers, but there hasn’t been any response so far, Siddaramaiah is learnt to have told Rahul. The sources said that Rahul asked the chief minister to do everything to prevent farmer suicides. The matter should not tarnish the image of the Congress party and the government. The party should join hands with the government and make efforts to provide relief to farmers, he reportedly said.
Rahul may visit farmers
Siddaramaiah, according to sources, invited Rahul to meet the families of farmers who committed suicide in the State recently. The tour itinerary, if any, will be fixed by Rahul’s office in Delhi in the coming days. He may come to Karnataka once the ongoing legislature session ends, the sources added.
The chief minister also briefed Rahul about the Arkavathi Layout denotification. The Opposition BJP and the JD(S) have accused Siddaramaiah of illegally denotifying a vast expanse of BDA land, which was meant for developing the Arkavathi Layout, to favour builders. The matter assumes significance as the BJP prepares to raise it in the ongoing session of Parliament in order to counter the Congress’ campaign against the BJP’s scams.
Ministers from Bengaluru, Ramalinga Reddy, Krishna Byre Gowda, Dinesh Gundu Rao, K J George and R Roshan Baig, met Rahul briefly. The Congress vice president is learnt to have asked them to work hard for the party’s victory in the upcoming elections to the BBMP.