Bengaluru, July 26 (IANS) Former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda will sit on an indefinite fast from Monday in Delhi to protest the government’s apathy towards the plight of farmers, many of whom have committed suicide due to severe indebtedness.
“Gowda will sit on an indefinite fast from Monday at Jantar Mantar in the national capital to draw the government’s attention on the farmers’ plight, as he has not been given an opportunity to speak on them in parliament so far,” Janata Dal-Secular spokesperson Ramesh Babu told IANS on Sunday.
The octogenarian JD-S supremo is a fifth-time lawmaker in the Lok Sabha from Hassan parliamentary segment, about 180 km from here.
“Though Gowda wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan seeking time to raise the farmers’ issue, there was no response till Friday while many distressed farmers were resorting to suicide,” Babu said.
About 100 farmers have so far committed suicide since June across Karnataka over various reasons, including debt, lower prices and non-payment of arrear by sugar mills.
“Gowda will continue with his fast till the government and the speaker respond to his demand, as the central and state governments are indifferent to the farmers’ welfare due to misplaced priorities and undue importance to other sectors,” Babu said.
Expressing anguish over the rising number of farmers’ suicides in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the JD-S president blamed the central and state governments for failing to address their concerns.
“Even for the Congress, farmers don’t count much for its leaders and lawmakers as evident from its priority to disrupt parliament than compelling the government to bail them out from agrarian crisis,” Babu quoted Gowda as saying.