BELAGAVI: More than 500 agitating farmers were taken into custody and police resorted to lathi-charge to prevent the agitators from marching towards the venue where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to address a farmers rally.
The agitators had been sitting on dharna in front of deputy commissioner’s office as they were denied permission at Rani Channamma Circle.
The trouble started when the agitators tried to move to the venue of the rally.
As lathi-charge failed to disperse the agitators, who resorted to roadblock preventing BJP vehicles moving towards the venue, the police took into custody hundreds of farmers who were shouting against the Prime Minister by waving black flag.
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha president Kodihalli Chandrasekhar said the agitation was against Modi for declining to intervene and solve the Kalasa-Banduri canal project diverting Mhadei river water.
“BJP in its election manifesto had promised to solve the issue, but now the Prime Minister is distancing himself from interfering, stating that the matter is before the tribunal and the Karnataka Chief Minister should approach Goa and Maharashtra Chief Minister for amicable settlement outside the tribunal.”
“Our agitation, which has been continuing for the last 200 days, will be intensified till our goal is achieved. The agitation is for solving drinking water problem faced in three districts and not for irrigation or for any commercial purpose,” he added.
Many farmers organisations staged dharna and rasta roko near Hirebagewadi, Yaragatti, and many other places and they appealed to
farmers not to participate in the farmers rally.
Superintendent of police Ravikanthe Gouda said that situation is well under control.
Later, addressing the rally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said if there was a ray of hope in the world economy, it was India, as he asserted that his government was committed to transform the lives of the poor and villages.
He also said that the Opposition spoke of many issues but there was not an allegation of corruption against his government ever since he has been serving as “pradhan sevak”.
“Today it is agreed that if there is a ray of hope in the world economy, it is India,” Modi said at the huge rally, organised as part of BJP’s nationwide outreach to farmers.
He cited ratings by various agencies and international institutions such as World Bank and IMF to buttress his point on India offering a “ray of hope”.
Modi said whether it was World Bank or IMF or world’s rating agency, all of them were saying in one voice that if there is any country “where there is a ray of hope, that ray of hope is India”.
“In the whole world, the economy is wavering. Even those countries who say they are experts are also going through economic problems,” he said.
In spite of disturbing environment of slowdown, India is making rapid strides in growth, he said.
On corruption, Modi said that when his government assumed office, the nation was tired of corruption.
“It has been over 18 months since I’ve served you as Pradhan Sevak. Opposition speaks of many issues but not on allegation of corruption.”
He said when his government came to power the entire country was disturbed by the issues of corruption.
“Only one issue was being heard in the air, on earth and water and that was corruption, corruption and only corruption.”
On the one hand, the trust in the country had fallen in the eyes of the world which was not prepared to take India into account.
India was also facing economic problems with corruption destroying the country like termites.
There was an environment of despair, he said.