Siddaramaiah terms passing of farm bills 'evilest act to destabilise foundations of democracy'

News Network
September 22, 2020
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Bengaluru, Sept 22: Karnataka opposition leader Siddaramaiah on Monday attacked the Centre over the passage of three farm bills in the Parliament and called it "the evilest act to destabilise the foundations of democracy".

Siddaramaiah said in a tweet, "The decision of Narendra Modi government to pass three bills related to farmers, without adequate consultation of stakeholders and debates in both the houses, is the evilest act to destabilise the foundations of democracy."

He asserted that Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, is an attempt to "empower private players with supreme power to procure from farmers without any regulation".

"This is a one-sided policy that threatens the survival of farmers," said Siddaramaiah.

He said, "Only 6 per cent farmers in India have access to the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs), while rest 94 per cent do not have. If the government really wants to help farmers, they can allow private entities to open market but the regulatory authority of those markets should remain with APMCs."

"There are more than 80 per cent small and marginal farmers who need the government's support for their produce. They are the most vulnerable and APMC was protecting them. Without APMC, there are left in no man's land. There will be no control on the traders and trade practice outside the APMC premises," he said.

"APMC will lose control to impose a levy. This is the complete surrender of state governments," Siddaramaiah continued.

Accusing the Prime Minister and BJP for weakening the farmers, he said, "The UPA had strengthened farming community through minimum support price (MSP), procurement system and public distribution system (PDS). Now, with three anti-farmer bills, Narendra Modi is trying to break their backbone."

He stated that the democratically elected farmer representatives decide the pricing in APMC based on the directions by the central government.

On Sunday, the Rajya Sabha witnessed unruly scenes as Opposition members stormed the well and reached the deputy chairman's seat to protest against the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

Following this, eight Opposition MPs were suspended from the Upper House for a week.

The farm bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha through voice vote. Both the bills were earlier passed by Lok Sabha through voice vote.

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News Network
October 21,2020

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Ballari, Oct 21: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas in four districts of the state and said additional funds would be released after holding discussions with officials.

"Already funds have been allotted to the flood-affected districts and more will be released after holding a meeting with the officials," the Chief Minister said.

He was talking to reporters before boarding a special plane from Jindal Vijayanagar Airport here to conduct an aerial survey of Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Raichur and Yadgir districts, to assess the damage caused by the heavy rains last week.

Yediyurappa was accompanied by Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chauhan and the Commissioner of Karnataka Disaster Management Authority Manoj Rajan during the aerial survey.

River Bhima, a tributary of river Krishna that originates in Maharashtra, had wreaked havoc in Vijayapura, Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Raichur districts due to the torrential rain in the catchment areas for the past 10 days.

Yediyurappa said heavy rains and floods have caused inundation in several villages in Kalaburagi and Vijayapura districts, damaging crops and houses.

To a query, the chief minister said a central team would carry out an inspection after the state government submits the complete report, which may take at least four to five days.

He, however, maintained that the Prime Minister was aware of the prevailing situation and has assured him of assistance.

Later talking to reporters at Kalaburagi after the aerial survey, the Chief Minister said he cannot make any fresh announcements due to the model code of conduct in place in the state in the wake of MLC elections and bypolls to two assembly segments -- Sira in Tumakuru and Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru urban district.

He said he has sought a detailed report from officials during a meeting with them and gave them necessary directions.

The Chief Minister said he has asked the officials to supply drinking water in Kalaburagi, the district headquarter town, as the water pipeline has been damaged.

"We will make sure that there is no water scarcity for which we will hire more tankers. Electricity and water will be restored and all the roads will be repaired.

All the other important services will be restored in the next few days," the Chief Minister said.

Yediyurappa said he had asked the officials to make sure that no communicable disease spreads in the flood-hit areas.

In addition to it, there should be adequate supply of food and medicines, in the relief camps, so that people do not go through any hardship.

When asked about the extent of damage, the Chief Minister said he has sought a detailed report, which may take at least three to four days.

However, he said, 43,000 people in 14 Taluks of the four flood-hit districts are affected.

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai who was accompanying the Chief Minister, said a joint survey by the state government and Central government officials has to be conducted to assess the actual damage. 

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News Network
October 19,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 19: Many villages are still submerged in Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Yadgir and Raichur districts of North Karnataka and over 36,000 people have been evacuated, as the flood situation remains grim with the Bhima river continuing to flow above the danger mark, officials said on Monday.

This is the third time Karnataka has been hit by floods in the past three months following heavy monsoon rains.

According to the Central water commission, the Bhima river has been in spate since October 14 due to torrential rain in Maharashtra and release of water from the dams there.

The river, which is a tributary of the Krishna, has wreaked havoc in Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Yadgir and Raichur, which are experiencing intermittent heavy rain.

Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) officials said as many as 97 villages in the four districts are worst affected and people residing there have been shifted to safety.

"So far we have evacuated 36,290 people. We have opened 174 relief camps where 28,007 people are staying," a KSNDMC official said.

The Army and the disaster response force personnel are engaged in evacuating people from the flood-hit areas, according to sources.

Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, the heavy downpour since Sunday night resulted in waterlogging in some places.

According to the India Meteorological Department, the city recorded 39.6 mm rainfall at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited based weather observatory in the 24 hour period ending 0830 am today.

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News Network
October 19,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 19: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol has said eight members of his family have contracted coronavirus including his son Dr Gopal Karjol, who is on ventilator for the past 23 days.

In a long Twitter post, Karjol explained his inability to take up a long journey to physically monitor the flood situation in Bagalkote and Kalaburagi.

"My son Dr Gopal Karjol is on ventilator for the past 23 days (due to coronavirus). My wife recently came out of the hospital after recovering from the coronavirus infection. I too recovered from Covid-19 after staying in the hospital for 19 days. In all, eight members of my family had contracted coronavirus," Karjol said in his post.

Karjol is an MLA from Mudhol in Bagalkote and is district in charge minister of Bagalkote and Kalaburagi.

Both districts have been affected by floods.

The situation in Kalaburagi is severe due to the Bhima river. Karjol said he was not venturing out unless there was an urgency.

He also said he has been advised by the doctors not to take up long and tiring journeys due to which he is not going to flood-affected areas.

However, he is in touch with the district administration and is monitoring the flood situation sitting at home.

Karjol had contracted the infection when the Assembly session was in progress in the state from September 21 to September 26.

He is among those ministers, MLAs, and other public representatives who were infected with the virus.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, another Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, Forest Minister Anand Singh, Social Welfare Minister B Sriramulu, BJP National General secretary C T Ravi, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S Suresh Kumar, Agriculture Minister B C Patil, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state Congress chief D K Shivakumar were among those infected by the virus.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, cumulatively 7,65,586 Covid-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 10,478 deaths and 6,45,825 discharges.

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