Bengaluru, May 30: Reiterating how he is dependant on the Congress for running the government in Karnataka, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said on Wednesday, “Without the blessing of people, but only with blessing of Rahul Gandhi, we’ve come to power. I’ll convince Congress party, but I can only take the decision once they approve.” He was addressing farmer leaders and was talking about farm loan waiver.
Then, as if to appease the farmers, he said, “This is a golden opportunity. You can vote for whoever you want when it’s time. Deputy CM and ministers are good…we know how to run the government. Give us time, we will solve all your problems.” The Chief Minister has created a furore by repeatedly harping on the tie-up and saying how he is at the mercy of the Congress, the bigger partner in the alliance.
He said saving farmers was the priority of his government and promised to honour his commitment to waive farm loans within 15 days. Under attack from the BJP over the alleged delay in fulfilling his pre-poll assurance to the farming community, Kumaraswamy met representatives of farmers groups and progressive peasants to discuss their problems.
“In 15 days, it will get completely implemented….Whatever may be the difficulty, our government is committed to maintaining fiscal discipline, and also saving you (farmers),” he told the meeting after listening to farmers for about three hours.
Kumaraswamy said he and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara will discuss the issue with Congress president Rahul Gandhi. “I’m getting it (the loan amount) calculated, whatever thousand crore rupees it is….saving you is our government’s responsibility,” he told the gathering.
The meeting was attended by Parameshwara, deputy Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Govinda Karajola (BJP), and senior officials of the state government. Kumaraswamy also said he would call a meeting of representatives of nationalised banks in 2-3 days and seek information about farm loans extended by them. In the run-up to the Assembly polls, the JD(S) had promised to write off agricultural loans totalling Rs 53,000 crore within 24 hours of coming to power. (Also read:
The BJP has been targeting him over the “delay” in keeping that promise and had called a statewide bandh on Monday. The Chief Minister had recently said he would retire from politics if he failed to honour the promise, and asked farmers not to “fall prey to the BJP conspiracy”. Leader of the Opposition BS Yeddyurappa had on Monday threatened action against the state government if it failed to write off farm loans within a week. (With PTI inputs)