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Karnataka Assembly Winter session begins on a stormy note

PTI | Belagavi |

The Winter session of the Karnataka Assembly began on a stormy note on Monday, with opposition BJP entering the well of the House in protest against the arrest of agitating farmers here.
As the House assembled for a 10-day session, BJP leader Jagadish Shettar raised the issue of farmers’ arrest and demanded government’s response, even as Speaker K B Koliwad moved a motion on obituary reference.
Condemning the farmers’ arrest, Shettar termed it “undemocratic” and called the Congress-led state government as “Tughlaq government”.
“Tell us why they have been arrested when they were protesting peacefully?” he asked.
The farmers in the state are protesting on a host of issues, including fixing of Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane crop and payment of arrears.
The government has fixed FRP between Rs.2,300 and Rs.3,050 a tonne based on the recovery ranging from 9.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent for 2016-17, while farmers have demanded a minimum of Rs.3,000 per tonne.
The BJP members entered the well of the House shouting slogans against the government, calling it “goondagiri (hooliganism) government” and “anti farmer”.
Amidst BJP’s protest, the Speaker asked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to make his statement on obituary reference.
As Siddaramaih rose, Shettar insisted that the obituary reference be taken up after the government responded to the arrest of farmers.
The chief minister said he had already asked police officials to release farmers.
“I need not learn about protecting farmers’ interest from you (BJP). They were arrested as a precautionary measure as they were blocking roads. I have asked officials to release them.
“I am not doing this after your protest,” Siddaramaiah told BJP, adding, he had asked officials to release the farmers much before.
BJP leaders finally withdrew their protest.