Not farmers, they are goondas: HD Kumaraswamy

Bengaluru: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s remarks against agitating sugarcane farmers in which he reportedly termed them as ‘goondas,’ has invited severe criticism from farmers and the opposition BJP alike.

At the Krishi Mela event here on Sunday, the CM criticized the agitating farmers in Belagavi and also the farmer women who had been criticizing him. At one stage, Mr. Kumaraswamy said, "a woman wearing a green shawl, criticized me, I would like to ask her where she was all these years. After four years, she is questioning me, I don’t think they are farmers,” Mr Kumaraswamy remarked.

He was reacting to the incident in which a group of farmers drove trucks laden with sugarcane and  'gatecrashed' into Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, the legislature complex in  Belagavi on Sunday protesting against the CM's reported cancellation of his visit to meet farmers agitating over payments due from sugar mills. 

The farmers have even threatened to disrupt the winter session of the state legislature scheduled to be held in Suvarna Vishana Soudha next month.

Criticising Mr Kumaraswamy, BJP state president B.S. Yeddyurappa said, "The CM has cast aspersions on the integrity of farmers which, by any standards, is unacceptable."

By calling the farmers goondas, the CM has indulged in an outrageous act. This shows the utter contempt of the JD(S) towards farmers, Mr Yeddyurappa said.

 “The CM has also said that he should not be held responsible if sugar factory owners have not paid dues to farmers for the last four or five years as he had become CM only for five months ago. This statement is nothing but  ridiculous. People have every right to demand justice from the government at any given point of time. It is the responsibility of the government of the day to redress the grievances,” Mr Yeddyurappa said.

 "The government is a continuous entity. It is shocking that Mr Kumaraswamy has to be reminded of this basic fact. The BJP warns that it will join the farmers’ ranks and launch a state-wide agitation against the barbaric approach of the coalition government", the BJP chief warned.

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