Bangalore: A special Assembly session began here to discuss issues on agriculture and rural development, with Karnataka chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa appealing to members to come out with meaningful solutions to improve the conditions of villages and lives of farmers.
“Convening a session to discuss our society’s and state’s most important issues of agriculture and rural development is probably a first in the country’s legislature history”, Yeddyurappa said in the assembly on Wednesday.
The House was to meet for three days from Wednesday, however, speaker Jagadish Shettar said it was decided at the business advisory committee to extend the session by another three days.
Highlighting the plight of farmers, Yeddyurappa lamented that despite many programmes for their benefit, nothing has been done to improve their lot. Villages have remained as they were for decades.
Villages have become old-age homes, he said, adding, there is a dire need to stop people from migrating to urban areas by creating infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and industries in rural areas to arrest the trend.
“Despite many projects in force and lakhs of crores of rupees having been spent, our villages have not developed as per expectations”, the chief minister said.
Calling for a meaningful discussion, Yeddyurappa said the members’ suggestions and ideas on agriculture and rural development would be incorporated while drafting the next budget.
Earlier, leader of opposition, Siddaramaiah (Congress), sought to move an adjournment motion seeking to discuss the drought situation in the state.
He alleged that though 86 taluks in 20 districts have been declared drought-hit, the government has not come out with any contengency plan to tackle the situation.
He highlighted crop loss in parts of the state, fodder shortage and charged the government with failing to implement the National Rural Employment Guarantee programme in the state effectively.
Declining his consent for the adjournment motion, the speaker said the issue would be taken up under a different rule on Monday.
Meanwhile, the House adopted a condolence motion to mark the death of Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and a former MLA S. Rudrappa, who died on 28 July. Members observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.
Yeddyurappa, Siddaramaiah, H. D. Revanna and Janardhana Reddy, among others, spoke on the motion, and recalled the services rendered by Rajasekhara Reddy.