Tuesday, Dec 26, 2023

Farmers wish for drought to get loans waived, says Karnataka minister Shivanand Patil, draws flak

BJP state president B Y Vijayendra lashed out at the remarks, calling it an insult to farmers.

karnatakaKarnataka Minister for Sugar and Agriculture Marketing Shivanand Patil (left) and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (right). (Facebook/Express Photo)

Karnataka minister Shivanand Patil has come under fire for his remarks that farmers wish for drought so that their loans are waived. Opposition BJP and Janata Dal (Secular) demanded an unconditional apology from the minister on Monday, even as Patil argued that his statements were taken out of context.

At an event held at Chikkodi, Belagavi district, Patil – who holds the Sugarcane Development and Textiles portfolio in the Siddaramaiah cabinet, had said, “Water from River Krishna is free. Electricity is free. Many CMs gave seeds and fertilisers (to farmers). Now, farmers have only one wish – that drought recurs. It is because (farm) loans will be waived.”

“You should not wish for that. Even if you don’t wish for it, there will be a drought year every three or four years…. When it is a distress year, governments can come to your aid. But, it will be difficult if aid is sought all the time,” he had said.


BJP state president B Y Vijayendra lashed out at the remarks, calling it an insult to farmers. “I urge the CM to call Patil and advise him to correct himself. If he does not change, then ask for his resignation,” he said. Condemning the remarks, he said that Patil’s statement reflected the stance of the state government and Congress party.

JD(S) state president and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said disparaging remarks about farmers were not right. “The minister should exercise great caution, sensitivity and restraint when talking about these issues,” he said, demanding an unconditional apology and an immediate retraction of his statement.

Festive offer

As criticism mounted, Patil said the Congress was pro-farmer and accused the media of “creating a controversy”.

“If you (BJP) are concerned about farmers, then lift the ban on sugar export, rice export and onion export….. Does the government have money all the time to waive loans?” he said, accusing the Opposition of trying to pit farmers against him and the Congress government.


Patil is no stranger to controversy. In September this year, he drew flak for his statement that farmer suicides had gone up after compensation was increased for such cases.

First published on: 25-12-2023 at 14:18 IST
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