The Congress tore up papers and staged a walkout today in the Karnataka Assembly over the land acquisition bill that had been taken up for discussion on the last day of the House.
KPCC President DK Shivakumar firmly opposed the proposed amendments and hit out at the ruling BJP saying they want to keep the farmers as “slaves”.
“Entire farmers’ lands have been taken. It is a very bad amendment that they have brought. They have brought amendments to buy lands from the farmers. They want to keep the farmers as slaves so we are opposing this tooth and nail,” Mr Shivakumar told NDTV after the walkout.
Farmer groups have been protesting against amendments to the land acquisition act and the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act proposed by the state government. The groups have also called for a Karnataka bandh on Monday.
DK Shivakumar also said the party does not want the Governor to give his nod to the ordinance.
“We want to protect the farmers of this country. Congress party always stood for the cause of the farmers. We have brought various laws to give lands to the farmers. We want the Governor not to accept this ordinance,” Mr Shivakumar told NDTV.
The state Congress has been sharing frequent videos of farmers and party leaders who are expressing resistance against the bill.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had earlier said the farmers may be “misinformed” about the bill.
“I have said over and over again that only 2 per cent of the land can be used for industrial purpose. Anyone who busy irrigated land will have to use it the same way – as irrigated land. That is a condition. There will be no problem for the farmers. They may have been misinformed,” he said.
Farmers had met the chief minister on Friday but the discussion was not a success hence Monday’s strike still stands.
While 30 bills had been scheduled to be discussed in the monsoon session, only six were taken up.
The Congress is also hoping the debate on the no- confidence motion will happen today – the last day of the truncated session due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They are taking on the BS Yediyurappa-led government on alleged corruption in coronavirus management in the state and a Bangalore Development Authority project.
BS Yediyurappa seemed unfazed by the no-confidence motion. With 116 MLAs in the 224 member House, the ruling BJP is not worried.
“I have no objection to that. Every six months they move the no-confidence motion so that I am safe for another six months,” he told reporters at the Vidhan Soudha.
Former Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal Secular said the Congress has not consulted them on the move yet.
“I think both the treasury bench and the main opposition bench (Congress) they have some understanding about this move. Nobody has consulted with us from Congress side. When the discussion starts, we will decide at that time,” he said.
The Congress and JDS coalition ruled the state before their collapse in July last year. After that, their alliance also collapsed.