Pro-farmer BJP? Shah’s chopper makes Ilkal farmer eat dust!

Hubballi: A farmer from Bagalkot district has lodged a police complaint against five BJP leaders including Doddanagouda Patil, the party's candidate for Hungund Assembly, for allegedly destroying a bund he had built on his farm on the outskirts of Ilkal town, to build a temporary helipad for the helicopter carrying their national party president, Amit Shah on Saturday.  

The farmer, Jagadish Karadi (45),  said he had built the bund at a cost of Rs 10 lakh over the last few years and was shocked to see over 50 people busy removing it and levelling his field with the help of a bulldozer and road roller on Saturday. When he objected, the BJP leaders offered him a mere Rs 10,000 although he had spent lakhs on building the bund, he claimed.

They also threatened and abused him when he took objection to them using his field without his permission, he alleged. 

Mr  Shah had toured Bagalkot district on Saturday as part of his  campaign in Karnataka for the coming elections. The BJP leaders accused of high handedness by the farmer includes former legislator, Doddanagouda Patil, who is also the party's candidate for Hungund Assembly constituency. 

"The small farmland is my family's only source of livelihood.  The BJP men not only destroyed the bund but also removed five or six trees grown trees on my fields to build the helipad. They attacked me and threatened to kill me after the elections if I raised any objection. So I am now afraid to even visit the farmland as the police have not detained anyone, despite filing a complaint," the farmer  said.

With hardly any irrigation in Hungund taluk despite the three rivers flowing through Bagalkot district, farmers here are completely dependant on rain for their crops.  They build bunds on a priority to increase the ground water level of their fields during the rains. Mr Karadi said he was planning to sow his fields  before the start of the monsoon in June, but the levelling of his farmland and demolition of the bund has left him in dire straits. 

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