Angry flood victims vent anger on CM B S Yediyurappa, gherao him

Farmers demand Rs 1 lakh to be paid per acre for the loss of sugarcane crop.

Hubballi: Hours before flood relief was announced by the Centre Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had to bear the brunt of the anger of farmers, who are still waiting for relief from the government weeks after floods devastated their fields and homes during the recent monsoon. Many tried to gherao him at several spots in Belagavi and Bagalkot districts during his visit to the flood-hit villages despite his attempt to evade them by setting out early from his guest house in Belagavi.

But this only angered the farmers more, who intensified their protest by lying down on the road in the way of oncoming traffic. The police intervened to remove them and took them into its custody. But a woman farmer leader, Jayashri, suffered a minor injury in the mayhem.

Undeterred by the police, the farmers, who were taken to the APMC police station, continued to raise slogans against all 25 BJP MPs from the state for their failure to persuade the Union government to release a compensation package for the flood victims. They protested that the compensation for crop loss was too little and demanded they be paid Rs 1 lakh per acre for the loss of their sugarcane crop.

The police also took hundreds of farmers into custody in Mahalingapur when they demanded to meet the Chief Minister. And several staged a protest in Mudhol before his visit to the town.

“The flood victims need to rebuild their lives as they have lost everything in the deluge. The compensation being provided by the government under NDRF norms is hardly adequate. Several victims have not even received the emergency compensation of Rs 10,000 each released by the government. But the Chief Minister says he is helpless as the state has no funds. He left without even listening to our grievances,” complained the upset farmer leader, Jayashri.

While Mr Yediyurappa did manage to distribute compensation to flood victims in Darur village of Athani taluk, the event virtually turned into a show of strength for Deputy Chief Minister, Laxman Savadi, who belongs to the constituency. Local disqualified legislator, Mahesh Kumatalli, was conspicuous by his absence.

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