Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the state for allegedly failing to meet the expectations of farmers, who had lost their land and livelihood in the floods. Kumaraswamy specifically mentioned the devastating floods in Chikkamagaluru district, where two farmers committed suicide.

Kumaraswamy had visited the homes of the farmers, identified as Chandre Gowda and Channappa Gowda, on Sunday. He gave a cheque of Rs 2 lakh to Chandre Gowda’s family and Rs 1 lakh to the kin of Channappa Gowda. Later, he alleged that a racket was rampant in these parts, wherein cut money of Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 was being taken from Rs 10,000 given for flood relief to the victims.

“Thousands of families are in distress in Chikkamagaluru due to floods,” Kumaraswamy tweeted on Monday. “Farmers are committing suicide as they were not getting any relief from the government.”

More than 80 people had died after heavy rains affected 21 of Karnataka’s 30 districts. Lakhs of hectares of agricultural lands and homes were damaged. The state has lost more than Rs 38,000 crore worth of losses due to damaged crops and submerged assets, both private and public.

Kumaraswamy criticised Udupi-Chikkamagaluru BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje. “The Chikkamagaluru MP who should come out in support of the farmers is missing from the area, which shows her lack of concern for them,” he alleged.

Kumaraswamy said that the Centre has created a contingency fund of Rs 35,000 crore, and the Rs 1,200 crore it had granted to Karnataka would be the final figure, PTI reported. The Centre had approved the grant on October 5.

In turn, Karandlaje attacked Kumaraswamy. “Kumaraswamy has demonstrated what he is,” she said, according to PTI. “If he says that I don’t know the sufferings of farmers then he must be knowing it well because he grew rich by growing potatoes.” Karandlaje said the Union government has long-term plans for releasing funds.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had claimed last week that the Rs 1,200 crore the Centre was to grant was just the first instalment. The state government had asked for Rs 35,000 crore from the Centre.

HD Deve Gowda plans protest march

Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, the father of HD Kumaraswamy, said on Monday that he will lead a march in Bengaluru on October 10, against the Centre’s apathy towards flood relief assistance, PTI reported. “The Assembly session would start on October 10,” he told reporters in Bengaluru. “We would take out a march from Gandhi Statue to Freedom Park against the backdrop of Centre’s insensitivity towards the flood victims.”

“I will walk from Gandhi Statue to Freedom Park,” Gowda said. “All our leaders and the flood-hit people will take part in the rally.”

The state units of the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week of being indifferent towards Karnataka when it was facing a flood-like situation in August.

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