The BJP in Karnataka took to the streets on Wednesday in support of the section of farmers protesting against the state government this week. Senior BJP leaders including leader of the opposition BS Yeddyurappa and MPs R Ashok and PC Mohan led a protest at Mysore Bank CIrcle in Bengaluru.
Speaking to reporters, Yeddyurappa said, "We are protesting throughout the state. We are going to raise the issue in the winter session of the Legislative Assembly because farmers in more than 100 taluks are facing problems."
Yeddyurappa also confirmed that the BJP is planning a rally in Belagavi on December 10 in which the party is hopeful of gathering more than one lakh people in protest against the state government.
The massive protest was planned during a BJP core committee meeting chaired by BS Yeddyurappa on Monday. December 10 is the first day of the winter session of the Legislative Assembly set to be held at the Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi.
The latest round of protests was kicked off by sugarcane farmers from Belagavi who stormed the Suvarna Soudha in trucks carrying sugarcane on Sunday. The protesting farmers arrived in Bengaluru on Monday and held a protest at Freedom Park asking Kumaraswamy to increase the MSP of sugarcane and to implement the loan waiver scheme announced by the coalition government in July.
Kumaraswamy was also criticised for appearing to dismiss the concerns of the protesters after he described the protesters as 'goons' and claimed that they were not sugarcane farmers. He also claimed that the opposition BJP was organising the protests in the name of sugarcane farmers.
A six-hour meeting was held at the Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday with the protesting farmers, sugar mill owners and other stakeholders. Following the meeting, Kumaraswamy told reporters that the concerns of the protesting farmers will be resolved and sought time till the budget session in 2019 to implement the partial loan waiver scheme.
Addressing one of the concerns raised by the farmers, Kumaraswamy announced that the MSP for sugarcane was set at Rs. 2,750 per tonne, up from Rs. 2,500 set by the Congress government a year ago.
A meeting has also been convened with sugar factory owners on Thursday to determine the arrears to be paid to sugarcane growers.