Bengaluru: The issue of farmers' suicide rocked the Assembly on Monday with BJP members entering the Well of the House, demanding a debate on it and dubbing the Siddaramaiah government as "anti-farmer".
As the House met for the day, Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar raised the issue of repeated incidents of farmers suicides, with many incidents reported in the sugar belt of Mandya district.
"Farmers are losing hope, government is not seriously taking steps to control it, day by day farmer suicides are increasing," he said.
About 50 farmers have allegedly committed suicide in the last two months in the state, he added.
Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa said the issue was important but it cannot be discussed under adjournment notice and he would give an opportunity for debate after question hour.
Not agreeing to this, BJP members requested the chair to allow discussion on the issue first, charging that the government was being "careless" on the farmers' issue.
Shettar said the Chief Minister had not even visited farmers' families,but after reports emerged that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi planned to do so, decided to meet them.
He demanded that crop loan up to Rs two lakh be waived and families of deceased be given adequate compensation.
As Shettar accused the government and Chief Minister of being careless on farmers' issue, Congress members objected to it, leading to heated arguments between both sides.
Intervening, Chief Minister Siddaramaih said that his government need not learn lessons from BJP on how to be sensitive towards farmers issues.
Pointing out that steps have been taken by the government to pay back dues to sugarcane farmers, he said "BJP is doing this for publicity and for the sake of politics."
Siddaramaiah said government was taking steps to control farmers suicides and district administrations had been asked to meet them and try to know the reason behind incidents and act to stop farmers from taking extreme steps.
He also said that farmers should not commit suicide and government is there to help those in distress.
Noting there is no other issue that was as important as farmers suicides to be discussed and the issue should be taken up on priority, BJP members entered the well of the house and shouted slogans, calling the government "anti farmer".
Following this, the Speaker adjourned the house and during the break, called for talks between leaders of the parties, which subsequently failed. As the House resumed BJP members' entered the well of the house and demanded a discussion on the issue.
The Speaker stuck to his stand of allowing the issue for discussion after the question hour and continued with the question hour amidst BJP's protest. After question hour, he adjourned the House for lunch.