BELGAUM: Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday announced a magisterial inquiry into the suicide of farmer Vittal Bhimappa Arabhavi and gave an assurance to take punitive action against sugar factory managements, who fail to comply with the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 2,500 per tonne fixed.
The inquiry will look into the circumstances under which Arabhavi committed suicide by consuming pesticide. The suggestion to hold a magisterial inquiry was made by Congress MLA K R Ramesh Kumar, who at the fag end of the debate in the legislative assembly, said the BJP had charged the CM with ""murder'' of a farmer.
"I don't want to go into details of how Arabhavi died, But when an unnatural death takes place, the police will have to register a complaint, how the pesticide was available to the farmer, whether he was compelled by someone,'' Kumar added.
A day after Arabhavi's suicide in front of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, Siddaramaiah came back strongly and made a statement in legislative assembly.
The CM, who looked down and out on Wednesday after the farmer's suicide, hit back at the opposition parties, particularly BJP. Armed with the statistics, Siddaramaiah spelt out number of suicides committed by farmers during BJP regime between 2008-2013, when former CM BS Yeddyurappa accused Congress government responsible for farmer's death.
The statistics provided by the CM read as many as 180 farmers committed suicide during 2008-09, 140 in 2009-10, 117 in 2010-11 and 117 in 2011-12. "So many farmers committed suicide during BJP regime, did anyone of the CM resigned owing moral responsibility? No government will abet suicide," he said.
Continuing his attack, Siddaramaiah said it was Yeddyurappa as CM arrested farmers when they protested against land acquisition in Bellary for airport construction and also in Chamarajanagar for different purpose.
"You remained silent for three days without uttering a word on farmers'. But suddenly, you dropped shaadi bhagya and jumped on to farmers' protest," CM taunted Yeddyurappa.While BJP initially demanded Siddaramaiah's resignation, the CM received as rare support from the JD(S), who sticked to demanding a debate on the issue than staging a dharna by trouping into well. Siddaramaiah also thanked JD(S) for not politicizing the death of a farmer.