Karnataka sugarcane farmers who attempted to lay siege to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommais residence in Bengaluru were detained on Monday.
Thousands of sugarcane farmers had arrived in Bengaluru from across the state demanding that their demands be met. The protesters are demanding Rs 4,500 per ton of sugarcane, immediate payment of old bills and halting action on non-payment of electricity bills.
The protestors said that the government has turned a blind eye towards their problems. Many cabinet ministers are owners of sugar factories, they should come forward to give justice to sugarcane growers.
They said that the government has not bothered to provide the State Advisory Price (SAP) on sugarcane for 4 years.
Badagalapura Nagendra, president of yjr State Farmers’ Association stated that the government is indulging in arm twisting with farmers over pending electricity bills.
“We want CM Bommai to resolve the issue. But all farmers are being detained. Arresting farmers is a temporary solution. KRS dam is filled, once it is full, CM Bommai would come to Mandya district to worship. Thousands of farmers would protest with black flags, and let the police take action there,” he challenged.
The state government had promised sugarcane farmers that electricity bills prior to 2017 will be waived off. The government has also assured them that new meters will be installed afterwards and directed farmers to pay the electricity bills from there on.
However, the government has started collecting the old bills all of a sudden. Earlier, the president of the Karnataka Farmers’ Association late M.D. Nanjundaswamy had launched a movement and gave a call to the farmers not to pay the electricity charges. Late S. Bangarappa, had waived off electricity bills of farmers during his tenure as the Congress Chief Minister.