HD Kumaraswamy calls meeting of farmers' organisations tomorrow to discuss loan waiver; BS Yeddyurappa also invited

Bengaluru: Under mounting pressure for honouring his pre-poll promise of waiving farm loans of Rs 53,000 crore, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has called a meeting of farmers' organisations on Wednesday to discuss the issue, officials said.

Kumaraswamy will hold a meeting with representatives of farmers' groups and agriculturists to discuss loan waiver, farmer suicides, and other problems faced by them, officials at the Chief Minister's Office said.

 HD Kumaraswamy calls meeting of farmers organisations tomorrow to discuss loan waiver; BS Yeddyurappa also invited

File image of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. AP

Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara will also attend the meeting, they said, adding that Leader of Opposition in the Assembly BS Yeddyurappa has also been invited.

Kumaraswamy on Tuesday chaired a meeting of senior officers on the issue that was attended by Chief Secretary K Ratna Prabha, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) ISN Prasad, Development Commissioner DV Prasad, and Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister M Lakshminarayana.

The chief minister had recently said he was committed to waiving farm loans or else would retire from politics, and asked people not to fall prey to the "BJP's conspiracy".

He had also said he was ready with the guidelines on loan waiver details of which will be disclosed on Wednesday.

Seeking to turn the heat on Kumaraswamy, the BJP had appealed to farmers and the public to "voluntarily observe a bandh" across Karnataka on Monday to protest the "failure" of the chief minister to honour his farm loan waiver promise within 24 hours of coming to power, but it had evoked a tepid response.

Kumaraswamy, who had made the promise in the run-up to the elections, later sought time, saying since he was heading a coalition government with the Congress he would have to consult the alliance partner before taking a decision.

He had also said he would have to take into account the financial condition of the state before taking the decision.

Putting the new government on notice, Yeddyurappa has threatened to take the next course of action if Kumaraswamy failed to deliver on his promise within a week.

According to experts and senior government officials, the promise, if met, will have a huge impact on the state's financial health.

Kumaraswamy has called the meeting with peasant groups at a time when there is still no clarity over the cabinet expansion amid reports of lack of consensus in the ruling coalition over the allocation of key portfolios, especially finance.

The JD(S) is reportedly insisting on keeping the finance portfolio, which the Congress also wants.

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Updated Date: May 29, 2018 19:30:28 IST