Farmers across Karnataka have decided to protest against the delay in announcing loan waivers by the incumbent Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress coalition in Karnataka led by H.D. Kumaraswamy came to power in the state on May 23rd. The JD(S) had also promised loan waivers to the farmers in its pre-poll manifesto. Even though JD(S) has the lowest number of seats in the state they still got offered the chief ministerial post by the Congress, but one cannot deny the fact that the real power lies in the hands of the Congress leaders.
H.D. Kumaraswamy had himself accepted this by saying, “I am not obligated to the 6.5 crore people of Karnataka, but I’m obligated to Congress”, days after he assumed the role of CM. This partially explains why there has been a delay in announcing the loan waivers by the JD(S) led coalition in Karnataka. B.S. Yeddyurappa acted completely opposite when he assumed the role of CM in the state, even though it was for a couple of days. Right after becoming the Chief Minister, B.S Yeddyurappa announced a massive loan waiver for all farmers upto Rs 1 lakh. However, the BJP had failed to prove majority on the floor of the assembly and B.S Yeddyurappa’s decision could not be implemented.
There is a stark difference between the modus operandi of the BJP and JD(S)-Congress coalition, the BJP government under Yeddyurappa was not deliberating and discussing every step with another party. The JD(S) and the Congress are facing this problem at every step in the way, for instance the allocation of important cabinet portfolios in the state government. The friction between the two parties has created problems not only for themselves but also for the farmers and other residents of the state.
Farmers from across the state have decided to hold agitations at Mandya, which is considered the centre of Karnataka farmers’ movement. The agitation which is supposed to begin today on 19th June , will surely spread to other parts of the state like wildfire. Kumaraswamy had earlier asked for a fortnight’s deadline to get details of the farmer’s woes before taking the decision on farm loan waiver. The deadline is going to end in a couple of days and no movement has been sighted on the loan waiver front by the incumbent government in Karnataka. Monsoons have arrived in the state and farmers are facing a severe lack of credit to help them in sowing new crops. Banks and other institutional lenders too are not willing to provide fresh loans to the farmers unless the earlier ones are paid off.
Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been selling the promise of loan waivers to the people of Madhya Pradesh. He is not taking any measures to help Karnataka farmers since they have already won the battle. This use and throw policy of the Congress is not going to work in the long run. The Congress needs to be called out and JD(S) leaders need to be awakened to help the farmers of the state, who otherwise might have to forego this season and face difficulties in the year ahead. The JD(S) and the Congress if left alone are unlikely to change their ways and help the already agitated farmers.