Chikkballpur: Former Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will lock ESCOM offices and hold a protest if the state government fails to ensure an uninterrupted seven hours of power supply in three phases to farmers across the state.
Addressing a farmers’ protest organised by the BJP under the leadership of former Minister K. Sudhakar protesting against the “anti-farmer” attitude of the government here, Bommai added that getting power and rice was the right of the farmers but it had been snatched away by the incumbent Congress government.
“The duty of the state government was to ensure the power supply and it was not doing any favour to the farmers. The officials would tell how the Department of Energy had been functioning. The previous BJP government had given Rs 10,000 crore to the Karnataka Energy Department. However, the present Congress government had not released any grant as it did not have money to release the grant and purchase coal.”
Farmers were given merely two hours of power daily but the power tariff had been hiked two times in the last three months, the former Chief Minister alleged.
Bommai said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had promised to give 10 kg of rice free to every below poverty line (BPL) family but only three kg of rice had been given.
“This (Congress) government tells lies and cheats people. The previous BJP government gave 10 kg of rice till December last year and subsequently, five kg of rice and one kg ragi. Despite this, the people did not vote for the BJP. What should be done to the government which distributes three kg of rice? Should we not protest against this (Congress) government? The Congress promised Rs 2,000 for every woman under the ‘Gruha Lakshmi’ scheme and made women stand before the banks,” he added.
He warned the state government that the BJP would lock the ESCOM offices and launch protests if farmers were not supplied seven hours of power supply in three phases.
“Against how many people you can book cases and send to jail? We will go to jail in such a big number that you will be forced to release us. There are 1.5 lakh IP sets and all the crops are drying in Chikballapur district for being neglected.”
After a long fight, Sudhakar brought the Milk Producers Union to Chikballapur but it had been stalled for political reasons. He brought a medical college and an international flower market, Bommai said.
“The former Minister (K. Sudhakar) became a victim of the election conspiracy by the Congress. Defeat or victory is not permanent. Chikballapur is an orphan despite having an MLA. If the election is held now, Sudhakar would win by a margin of one lakh votes. A continuous agitation would be launched to overthrow the incumbent “anti-people’s” government.”
Former Ministers, R. Ashok and Sudhakar, and BJP MP Muniswamy were also present during the farmers’ protest on Wednesday.