By SHUBHAJIT Chakraborty
Bangalore, Jan. 8 — Former prime minister and JD(S) leader HD Deva Gowda on Thursday joined the plight of Andhra Pradesh farmers on their “do or die” struggle to protect their lands. He personally sits on dharna at Hemmingepura village and protest against Nandi Infrastructure Corrideor Enterprises (NICE) that is planned to extend Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project.
“I will sit in dharna along with the farmers from today. There is no going back on the agitation until the NICE promoters relent on the acquisition of farm lands,’’ Gowda told reporters.
In the meantime, Gowda expressed his plan to visit Kolkata to visit sick veteran CPM leader Jyoti Basu, whose health condition is critical nowadays.
Talking to reporters, Deva Gowda alleged that there were attacks on farmer by NICE people and even police had refused to hear any plight of theirs. “We cannot tolerate this type of government, which started its innings by opening fire at agitating farmers in Haveri and killing two farmers,” he said.
In has been reported that around 30 farmers were arrested for staging a protest and the arrest provoked former PM to join the movement.
When the JD (S) minister reached the protest spot, hundreds of farmers surged with their anguish to him and demanded that their lands grabbed by inadequate compensation. The farmer also claimed that the lands were not required for the BMIC project and was acquired by the government.
Deva Gowda demanded that government should pay the market value of lands to the farmers and to gather guidance value from the promoters if it was handing over government land.