Thousands of farmers, especially sugarcane growers, have gathered at the Freedom Park in Bengaluru in protest against the ruling JD(S)-Congress Government demanding payment of pending dues running into crores of rupees from sugar factories, implementation of the farm loan waiver scheme and ensuring minimum support price for sugarcane, reports Deccan Herald.
Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy agreed to meet the agitating farmer leaders at 12:30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday) in the conference hall of the Vidhana Soudha. Sugar mill owners and other stakeholders too have been called.
The chief minister reportedly retorted to criticism by asking, “How can I be held responsible for some company not paying proper prices for sugarcane four years ago? What is the connection between me and this issue? Where were you sleeping four years ago?"
He had also called the protesters ‘goondas’ and ‘anti-social’ elements.
Kumaraswamy in a statement on Monday morning, however, expressed regrets over his earlier statement "I was greatly pained by the criticism heaped on me during the Belagavi protests. My statement had no ill intentions. It is unfortunate that it was taken out of context," a statement from CMO said.