Haveri: Minister Shivananda Patil has issued an apology to the farmers affected by the controversy stemming from his previous statements. This comes in the wake of his initial announcement of a 5 lakh compensation package, during which he inadvertently suggested a rise in reported farmer suicides.
The minister’s comment had stirred up a surge of discontent and dissatisfaction among farmers and various agricultural unions throughout the state, resulting in extensive protests. In light of the public outcry, District In-charge Minister Shivananda Patil chose to rectify the situation by extending his apologies for any distress his statement may have caused.
State Farmers Association and the Green Army staged a demonstration at the inspection bungalow in Haveri. During the protest, they also called for the designation of the remaining three taluks in the district as drought-prone areas. Minister Patila, upon reaching the protest location, clarified that his statements had been misrepresented in the media. He genuinely apologized if his remarks had offended the farmers and offered his assurance of an apology. Following this, the farmers opted to end their protest.
Before the minister’s arrival, the Farmers Association had pledged a financial contribution of 50 lakhs. Farmers, holding 500 notes, organized a protest in which they insisted that the minister make a similar commitment. They were ready to encircle the minister if their demands were not met. Initially, the police tried to facilitate a dialogue between farmer representatives and the minister, but their efforts proved unsuccessful.
Subsequently, Minister Patil, accompanied by local MLAs, reached the protest location and initiated discussions with the farmers. Ramanna Kenchallera, the district president of the Farmers Association, underscored the significance of farmers’ livelihoods and respect, advising against resorting to suicide while waiting for government assistance. He emphasized that the government had been elected to uphold democratic principles and urged them to fulfill that responsibility.