Karnataka CM H.D.Kumaraswamy. (Mint)
Karnataka CM H.D.Kumaraswamy. (Mint)

BJP threatens Karnataka stir over drought

  • Karnataka BJP chief Yeddyurappa says JD(S) and Congress are more worried about coalition problems
  • BJP says if Kumaraswamy govt takes no action in two or three days towards dealing with drought, it will hold a state-wide agitation

NEW DELHI : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday threatened a state-wide agitation against the H.D.Kumaraswamy-led coalition government for its apathy towards dealing with the worsening drought in Karnataka.

B.S.Yeddyurappa, the state BJP chief, hit out at Kumaraswamy stating that the Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress were more worried about coalition problems than tending to the drought leading to an acute shortage of drinking water.

“If no action is taken in two or three days, it will be inevitable for us to hold a state-wide agitation," the Press Trust of India reported on Tuesday, quoting Yeddyurappa.

Though officials have been asked to take the lead in drought mitigation, the absence of elected representatives, including ministers, provides the opposition ammunition to corner the government.

“The government and chief minister have been on top of things and have been working towards drought mitigation," said an official at the chief minister’s office, requesting not to be named.

Some within the farming community were hoping that they would get some help from the Kumaraswamy government while it is still in power.

The BJP is confident that the coalition government will collapse after 23 May, when results of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections are announced, as the differences between the JD(S) and Congress will intensify, making it more difficult for them to continue in the alliance.

The two sides had depended on the farming community to secure a higher seat share in last year’s assembly elections as well as in the ongoing parliamentary polls. Several political parties have promised to waive farm loans to earn the backing of the agricultural community.

In Karnataka, the Kumaraswamy government has released a total amount of 7,417 crore covering 15.5 lakh farmers as part of its promise made in last year’s budget.

Failing rains, however, are making it difficult for farmers to go in for sowing in drought prone Karnataka.

There are drinking water problems in over 2,200 villages and 1,800 tankers and 1,300 private borewells have been rented, according to one senior minister of the government, requesting not to be named.