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Updated December 19th, 2023 at 21:20 IST

Drought and farmer suicides grip Karnataka, political blame game ensues

The BJP alleges that funds intended for drought relief have been diverted for guarantees, leaving farmers without compensation.

Reported by: Prajwal Prasad
Edited by: Shweta Singh
Drought and farmer suicides grip Karnataka, political blame game ensues
Drought and farmer suicides grip Karnataka, political blame game ensues | Image:Republic
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Bengaluru:  Drought has been declared in over 200 taluks in Karnataka but the farmers are yet to receive any compensation from the government. The blame game persists, with the state attributing the delay to a lack of funds from the center. The BJP alleges that funds intended for drought relief have been diverted for guarantees, leaving farmers without compensation.

Between April and November this year, over 400 farmers have committed suicide due to crop damage and mounting loans. In north Karnataka, 259 farmers have taken their lives, and in Kittur Karnataka, the toll is 179.

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An official from the agriculture department speaking to Republic on the condition of anonymity said that "406 cases of suicides have been verified. Of these, 50 cases were rejected due to lack of proper documents. Out of 354 eligible cases after verification of documents, compensation of Rs 5 lakh has been disbursed to the family members of 321 farmers. Compensation is yet to be disbursed to the families of 33 farmers."

Drought and crop damage add to farmers woes!

Out of the 236 taluks in the state, 223 have been declared drought-hit. Of these, 196 taluks are severely affected by drought. The state has suffered a loss of Rs 35,162 crore due to crop damage. A compensation of Rs 18,171 crore has been sought from the Center as per the NDRF guidelines.

"All the taluks of Bagalkot district have been declared drought-hit. Crop losses worth Rs 1,997 crore have been reported. A request has been made to the central team that visited the district for relief," said agriculture minister Cheluvarayaswamy speaking to Republic.

Politics over farmer suicides 

CM Siddaramaiah met PM Modi earlier this morning in the national capital and has submitted a memorandum requesting over Rs 18,000 crore in relief but has said that they will wait for the center to respond. Meanwhile BJP state president BY Vijayendra has slammed the government in the state for politicizing the issue and speaking to Republic said that "as soon as the anti-farmer Congress government  came to power, the first thing done was to sacrifice the farmers. Since CM Siddaramaiah assumed office, hundreds of farmers have committed suicide due to mounting debts, crop losses and drought.

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Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who had set a record of farmer suicides in his earlier regime, is all set to break his own old record during his second term as CM."

Stats of farmer suicides in Karnataka in 2023 (April-November)

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Haveri - 62

Belagavi - 56

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Chikkamagaluru - 49

Shivamogga - 32

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Mysuru - 30

Dharwad - 29

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Vijayapura - 25

Vijayanagar - 18

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Hassan - 17

Yadgir and Kalaburagi - 16 each

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Mandya - 14

Bidar and Tumakuru - 12 each

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Bagalkot - 11

Note: The data includes the BJP's time in power; Congress took over on May 13. The mentioned death toll is specific to districts with suicides in double digits.

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Published December 19th, 2023 at 21:20 IST

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