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Two weeks in power, BJP earns farmers' wrath
Vicky Nanjappa | June 10, 2008 21:57 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party government, which formed the government in Karnataka two weeks back amidst much fanfare, is already in crisis.
While the BJP believes it is an issue that has been blown out of proportion and is completely politically-motivated, the opposition is gunning for chief minister B S Yeddyurappa's head.
Tuesday's incident, where a farmer was shot dead, was only an indication as to how serious the issue had transformed into in Karnataka.
Protests began in worst-hit Hubli-Dharwad region in northern Karnataka. Protesting farmers say the monsoon has set in and they have to manure the crop. Any further delay would only prove fatal to the yield.
Protests were expected to be intense in the northern part of Karnataka, as farmers in this area have not yet recovered from losses they incurred in the previous year due to the failure of the cotton crop.
Yeddyurappa, who maintains that the entire exercise is politically-motivated, acted quickly and as a damage control exercise, suspended the joint director of the state agriculture department.
He added that his government will look into the matter before announcing a grant of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of the farmer killed in police firing. The slain farmer was the sole bread winner of the family. Compensation of Rs 50,000 has also been announced for those injured.
While terming Tuesday's incident as unfortunate, former law minister H K Patil (Congress) said the government had handled the issue very badly. There is an immediate need to address the problem and police firing is not the solution.
"You cannot shut out a democratic voice," he said.
Former state chief minister H D Kumaraswamy told rediff.com that the issue should have been handled better and that force was not the solution.