14 May, 2021

Farm Fire Singes JD(S)

What explains Kumaraswamy’s curious warmth towards BSY? Maybe tactics, but he risked even his party’s pro-ryot image for it, before making amends with the cow slaughter bill.

Farm Fire Singes JD(S)

As farmer protests raged in many parts of the country, Karnataka’s Janata Dal (Secular) has found itself in a tricky situation. A party which brandishes its farmer roots and whose symbol is a woman carrying a bundle of hay, drew the ire of farmer org­anisations for helping the ruling BJP make amendments to a land ownership law that lifted restrictions on non-agriculturists buying farmland in the state.

But party leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy defended the move, saying he was only playing the role of a constructive Opposition—he clai­med the party ensured a balanced law. “The party is being blamed unnecessarily without proper scrutiny,” he said, listing out pro-farmer schemes, such as a loan waiver, during his stint as CM.

Yet, Kumaraswamy is increasingly being seen as soft on the B.S. Yediyurappa government. In fact, a rec­ent one-to-one meeting between the two have provided more fuel to the endless speculation over whether the BJP high command will eventually find a rep­lacement for...

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