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Sira farmers bank on Modaluru tank

Express News Service

TUMAKURU: The usually arid Sira had good rains this season and the harvest too was good. But these factors have not brought a smile to the farmers in the constituency, which is going to polls on November 3. What is bothering them is not getting a good price for their produce and lack of irrigation facilities.
Farmers, mostly busy with post-harvest activities, seem to be less worried about elections, they will decide on the polling day.

From a guava fruit vendor Manjanna at Karajeevanahalli toll gate to the farmer at Togaragunte village, all of them stress on irrigation. While Veerakyathappa, a farmer, says he can reap a good harvest only if the irrigation projects are implemented, the fruit vendor too is waiting to switch to farming, especially vegetables.

Modaluru tank, the biggest one in the constituency, seems to be the sore spot. People blame politicians for the Hemavathi river water not reaching the tank. The issue of Hemavathi river project seems to haunt Congress candidate T B Jayachandra again. “Had Jayachandra implemented the Hemavathi river water project up to Modaluru tank, he would have been an undisputed leader by now,” said Veerakyathappa. And BJP was quick to make this issue its poll plank by promising its implementation.

Jayachandra was instrumental in bringing Hemavathi water to the parched areas of Sira and Tumakuru. But the farmers’ grouse is that he has not ensured that the water reached Modaluru tank. “Our government will take this on priority once the elections are over,” BJP state vice president B Y Vijayendra, son of CM B S Yediyurappa, told TNIE. When he met the Kunchitiga Vokkaliga religious head, Sri Nanjavadhuta at Pattanayakanahalli, he had reportedly promised to release the Hemavathi river water to Modaluru tank for which the swamiji had launched a struggle.

With groundnut being the main crop, the growers are worried that they are not getting a suitable price as commission agents claim the quality of the crop is poor “It’s fetching Rs 3,500 per quintal. Only if we get Rs 4,500 and above, it will be profitable,” said Ramanna, a farmer. In Sira town, Hindu traders allege that the Congress had neglected them during the distribution of the shops constructed beside a dargah.”We too had applied for a shop but did not get and it will affect the Congress in the polls,” remarked Jayalakshmi, a Kadugolla woman, who runs a non-vegetarian ‘military’ hotel.  As this has already been a concern among the Hindus, the BJP has tactfully not made it a poll issue.

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