Bangalore: The Siddaramaiah government, which has been making a conscious effort to promote Ahinda agenda, on Monday was at the receiving end over its decision to give Rs two extra per litre as milk subsidy to farmers belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/STs).
The BJP members led by Jagadish Shettar, in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, suggested Siddaramaiah not to indulge in caste politics. If he has so much concern for the SCs, he should make G Parameshwara, MLC and senior Congress leader, the deputy chief minister.
Raising the subsidy issue during zero hour, Shettar said that it was not correct to pay extra subsidy of Rs two per litre of milk for only SC/ST farmers.
Such gesture should be extended to farmers of all castes and communities. Farmers should be considered as one community. At present, the subsidy per litre of milk is Rs 4 and the government has announced that it will be Rs 6 for SC/ST farmers.
The argument of the BJP members was that such division among farmers would only lead to caste tension in villages.
Animal Husbandry Minister T B Jayachandra said that of the Rs 825 crore sanctioned to the department, Rs 200 crore had to be compulsorily spent on SC/STs.
Nearly 98,000 members of the SC/ST communities are supplying milk and the subsidy given to them totals Rs 93 crore.
Still, the department is left with funds. Hence, it was proposed to give extra subsidy. It is also being planned to provide cows/buffaloes to farmers.
The government has not issued any order notifying higher subsidy, he stated.
The chief minister said that there is only a proposal before the government, but no decision has been taken.
But the BJP members should not raise objection. It shows they are anti-dalit, he charged.
Enraged by this, the BJP members in a raised voice demanded that Siddaramaiah should make Parameshwara, an SC, the deputy chief minister.
Embarrassed and irked by this, Siddaramaiah shouted down the BJP members saying, “You people do not have self respect. After looting the State, you are sitting in the Opposition. You are anti-dalit.”
The JD(S) welcomed the government’s proposal on extra subsidy for SC/ST farmers.