Mangaluru : Food and Civil Supplies Minister U.T. Khader said here on Tuesday that he was unhappy with senior Congress leader B. Janardhana Poojary’s comment blaming the State government and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for the police action against agitating farmers in Navalgund.
Talking to reporters, Mr. Khader said that he was pained to hear Mr. Poojary’s statement that the State government and Mr. Siddaramaiah will suffer for police “excesses” on farmers agitating against the interim order of Mahadayi Water Tribunal. “We are already suffering… the Chief Minister is yet to come out of grief for the loss of his son. It is sad to hear such words from a senior leader,” he said.
Mr. Khader said that the State government and the Chief Minister are not at fault with regard to the interim order of the tribunal. “It is because of the Union government that the interim order went against us,” he alleged.
Moreover, Mr. Khader said, when the decision of the tribunal came, Mr. Siddaramaiah was attending to his ailing son in Belgium, who ultimately passed away.
Mr. Khader said that farmers staged a protest in Navalgund. Some anti-social elements who joined the protest set court records on fire and threw stones at some public buildings for which the police took action. There have been some “excesses” by the police for which Home Minister G. Parameshwara has expressed regret. The Chief Minister has ensured that farmers against whom cases were registered obtained bail.
Claiming to be unaware of the directive of District Congress unit chief asking Mr. Poojary not to hold press meetings at the party office, Mr. Khader said that Mr. Poojary was among the three Congress leaders who have built the party in the region since 1980. “It is because of Mr. Poojary that we have our party office in Hampankatta,” he said. Mr. Poojary was just advising the party and his statements cannot be construed as anti-party activity, Mr. Khader said.