Kumaraswamy bats for farm legislation, Deve Gowda criticises Congress

Even as former Karnataka chief minister and senior JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy batted for the central farm legislation, his father and former prime minister Deve Gowda criticised the Congress and said that the JDS cannot be finished.

“For quite some time there has been a strong public opinion that Indian agricultural sector is caught in a vicious circle. It is very much necessary on our part to be ready for any experiment if it can bring about the welfare of the farm sector by rescuing it from the vicious circle. Hence, I personally feel that farmers should have an open mind towards ‘experimenting’ with the new legislation. But there has to be proper coordination between the Centre and the protesters,” Kumaraswamy tweeted.

The former Karnataka CM said that the ongoing farmers’ protest in Delhi outskirts against three farm legislations of the Centre had started attracting the attention of not only the country but the entire world. Close on the heels of concern expressed by the Canadian prime minister, parliamentarians from the US and Britain too have expressed their concern about the episode, he pointed out.

The farmers’ agitations have created an impression that some trouble is brewing in India. “It is my sincere wish that the reputation earned by India at the international level and its image should not be dented by the new farm legislation as well as the protests against them,” he added.

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Requesting the Centre to hold a ‘decisive meeting under the leadership of the prime minister to end the farmers’ struggle,’ he added that this would be a better approach than sending an indirect message to protesting farmers through its programmes. Kumaraswamy added that this was inevitable in the interest of protecting the country’s dignity. “Of course, I am sure that Mr Modi will act very cautiously when it comes to the country’s dignity. Let the problem be solved at the earliest.”

Earlier in the day, former prime minister and JDS national chief Deve Gowda, while addressing media in Bengaluru, said that his regional party would retain its separate identity and that there was no question of merging it with any other party. Attacking the Congress and his former protege Siddaramiah, he said, “You gave rice, milk and various bhagyas (schemes). What was the result? You got reduced from 130 to 78.”

Stating that it was Congress which approached JDS for forming a coalition government, he said that his party would work towards coming to power on its strength in the 2023 assembly polls. The JDS is also holding a mega convention of its workers and leaders on January 7 in Bengaluru where he said the party’s next course of action would be decided.

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