BELAGAVI: The 10-day winter session of the Karnataka Legislature took off on a stormy note with angry protests by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and farmers’ associations and traffic jams near Suvarna Vidhana Soudha (SVS) at Halga-Bastawad, 10 km away from here on Tuesday.
The Pune-Bengaluru national highway (NH-4) passing right in front of the SVS, was filled with protesting farmers resulting in massive traffic jam for nearly 100 minutes in the afternoon. The farmers staged “rasta roko” agitation in front of SVS. Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundurao and a few other legislators, who were on their way from the Airport to SVS were struck in the traffic jam and escorted in other vehicles by the police.
The farmers demanded the government to ensure payment of Rs.2,500 per tonne of sugarcane for the year 2013-14, besides announcement of minimum support price for paddy and other crops, irregular power supply to irrigation pump sets and rural areas, even as the Karnataka Kabbu Belegarara Sangha led by Kurubur Shantha Kumar and Karnataka Rajya Raith Sangh staged separate dharnas away from the SVS premises.
The KRRS activists led by their president Kodihalli Chandrashekhar staged a demonstration at Rani Channamma Circle in the city affecting vehicular movement for about half an hour – demanding waiver of crop loans for the financial years 2011-12 and 2012-13 on account of crop failure due to drought conditions in 123 taluks of the state. The KRRS also demanded the government to announce minimum support price for paddy and other crops.