In the run-up to the Assembly elections next year, farmers’ groups in Karnataka seem to be attempting to align with parties to test political waters.
The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) faction led by Kodihalli Chandrashekar is trying to align with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). On Thursday, AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is scheduled to inaugurate a farmers’ convention here organised by the KRRS faction. This is even as the JD(S) has been interacting with various factions of (KRRS) and has offered at least 10 seats to contest in the Assembly polls.
The convention is being organised to urge the Karnataka Government to withdraw amendments to the land reforms Act and the APMC Act. They are also demanding that there be a statutory guarantee for MSP. “While the demand for withdrawal is the main issue, this Government has been accused of seeking 40% commission and the Opposition has failed to counter the Government. The Opposition parties are no different from the BJP,” Mr. Chandrashekar told The Hindu.
On the political alignment with AAP for elections, he acknowledged that there is a need for alternative politics in the State currently. “If people do not vote for alternative politics, they will also become part of the system. Future decision of KRRS whether it will join hands with AAP or not will be based on the outcome of the convention,” he said. Clarifying that KRRS has not considered joining AAP, he said, “Any decision will be in line to keep the honour of the four-decade-old fight of KRRS.”
“Farmers of Karnataka have voted and given mandate to all three traditional parties, but all three failed in keeping their trust. After analysing options, they have decied AAP is the best one to voice their pain and bring solutions,” said AAP Karnataka convener Prithvi Reddy said.
The convention is at National College Grounds in Basavanagudi at 11.30 a.m.