A source states that the CM holds Ramesh accountable for not paying the sugarcane cultivators who demanded for the money they were owed.

Sugarcane farmers protest CM HDK blaming Ramesh Jarkiholi
news Politics Monday, November 19, 2018 - 18:33

As sugarcane cultivators protested outside Vidhana Soudha on Monday, a dramatic scene prevailed after Minister for Municipalities and Urban Local Bodies, Ramesh Jarkiholi walked out amidst the cabinet meeting, held by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to arrive at a solution to end the crisis.

The sugarcane cultivators demanded that the sugar factory owners return the money they are owed immediately. Farmers alleged that the factories have not paid them since 2017 for the sugarcane supplied. Sources in the JD(S) say that Chief Minister Kumaraswamy was livid as Ramesh Jarkiholi, who owns Sowbhagya Lakshmi Sugars in Belagavi district, has also been accused of not paying the farmers.

"The Chief Minister asked Ramesh Jarkiholi why he had not addressed the issue with the farmers directly. The CM said that since Ramesh Jarkiholi had remained silent for so long, the farmers have now become angry. He held Ramesh Jarkiholi accountable but the minister did not answer any questions and just walked out of the cabinet meeting," the source said.

Congress insiders say that Ramesh Jarkiholi was reluctant to attend the cabinet meeting itself. "Eshwar Khandre (KPCC working president) had to call him and request him to attend the cabinet meeting," the source added.

Farmers took to protesting in Belagavi on Sunday against the state government's alleged indifference over ensuring minimum support price for sugarcane and in getting their arrears released from the mill owners. Several farmers also barged into Suvarna Soudha (Winter seat of the Karnataka Assembly).

As a mark of protest against Kumaraswamy cancelling his visit to Belagavi on Monday, about 20 farmers drove trucks laden with sugarcane into the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha and threatened to disrupt the Assembly's winter session. The protests come after CM Kumaraswamy called the farmers 'goons' on Sunday. "Our farmers are tolerant and peace-loving. When I go to meet them (farmers) in villages, they remove their footwear, keep them aside and greet us. But, what we witnessed recently is anarchy. Their (farmers) attitude is similar to burglars. Our media friends beautifully highlighted how some tried to break-into the Suvarna Soudha. Do you call them farmers? There is a limit to my patience. Those people who are behaving that way are not farmers. They've destroyed the integrity of farmers, they're goondas,” he’d said.

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