Monday, Jul 21, 2003
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By Our Staff Correspondent
The indication came when he called on the activists of the Bheema Nadi Neeru Rakshana Raithavarga Samiti (BNNRRS), who were staging a dharna in support of their demand that all the cases booked against them during the Bheema agitation should be withdrawn.
The AIPJD MLC, M.P. Nadagouda, who accompanied Mr. Patil, said that many subjects related to the Bheema issue had not been given due importance. The Government had to take the Opposition into confidence on the issue, and an all-party meeting should be convened.
On the demand of the samiti that cases against farmers should be withdrawn, the response of Mr. Patil was different from one made during his press conference a few hours earlier.
Stating that the Government would not differentiate between farmers of the Cauvery Basin and those from the Bheema Basin, he said that if cases related to the Cauvery agitation had been withdrawn, the same step would be taken in this (Bheema) case also.
The President of BNNRRS, Panchappa Kalburgi, told the minister that the Government promised in the legislature last year that compensation would given to farmers who lost 24 acres of land on the banks of the Bheema due to erosion, within 10 days but till today the promise had not been kept.
Mr. Patil said there was a technical problem to pay compensation, but the farmers would be given ex-gratia shortly. A decision to this effect had been taken.
Heeding to Mr. Patil's request, the agitators withdrew their four-day-old dharna.
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