D K Shivakumar impact! Cane farmers call off stir

Hubballi: Sugarcane growers of Belagavi temporarily called off their protest on Friday after Water Resources Minister, D K Shivakumar, promised to  fulfill their demands in next fortnight.

The minister, who arrived in Belagavi to take part in a programme, visited the agitating farmers in front of the deputy commissioner’s office and held informal talks with them. He also offered a tender coconut to  farmer leader, Siddagouda Modagi, who was on a hunger strike with the rest.   

The farmer leaders have been agitating despite an assurance from Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to address their problems after a meeting with sugar mill owners recently.

Although they had at first relented,  the farmers later demanded settlement of their pending bills and a written undertaking from the factories on the price they were prepared to pay them during the current crushing season.

Responding to their grouse over the dues owed to them by the Jarkiholi brothers, Mr Shivakumar said he was confident  they would settle them and convinced the farmers that the coalition government was interested in their welfare and the interests of the factories were secondary.  

He also promised to resolve their problems before the winter session of the legislature to be held in Belagavi next month.

“The demands of the farmers for settlement of their pending bills and an adequate price for their produce are justifiable. Chief Minister Kumaraswamy has already held a meeting with factory owners and sugarcane growers and promised them all help. We will fulfill the assurance given by the government,” Mr Shivakumar asserted.  

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