BANGALORE: Revenue Minister V Srinivasa Prasad triggered a heated exchange between the Congress and the Opposition at the Legislative Council on Wednesday by likening Opposition leader K S Eshwarappa to Adolf Hitler.
While tabling the Karnataka Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill, to facilitate the disposal of pending applications to regularise bagair hukum lands, Prasad said the bill could have been passed last Saturday but for Eshwarappa’s insistence on one more day’s session. The bill was eventually passed unanimously.
Describing Eshwarappa’s predecessor in the House
D V Sadananda Gowda as “Mother Teresa”, he said the BJP leader was like “Hitler who is eager to go to war”.
Taking strong exception to the minister’s remark, Eshwarappa said he would gladly assume the role of Hitler to champion the cause of poor farmers and fight injustice. “I also would work like Indira Gandhi, the dictator,” he said.
This was received by a round of protests from Congress members Veeranna Mathikatti and V S Ugrappa, who accused Eshwarappa of trying to divert the attention of the House with the comment. Unfazed, Eshwarappa replied that Ugrappa had served a sentence during
the Emergency, after “protesting against Indira’s dictatorship”.
He then reiterated that he was for a detailed discussion on the bill for the sake of the “farmers anxious to see it passed”.
He also thanked Prasad for his efforts to end the uncertainty on the issue, but urged him to ensure quick constitution of committees to look into the matter.
He called for a deadline for the disposal of pending applications.
Prasad responded that the government was yet to set up committees in many taluks, but the process is under way and would be completed soon. He said the bill would help clear more than 4 lakh applications for regularisation of illegally-cultivated lands.
He also tried to play down his Hitler remark, saying he was merely referring to Eshwarappa’s “aggressive approach”. “Your speed is like that of Hitler,” the minister told the BJP leader.
The House was also adjourned sine die after a sitting of over 29 days.
‘Govt will tackle blackbuck menace’
Forest Minister B Ramanath Rai on Wednesday promised to provide protection to farmers from the menace of blackbucks in Koppal and other districts.
During Question Hour in the Council, Rai informed the Opposition that the state government has been compensating farmers whose crops were damaged by blackbucks. Earlier, BJP member Achar Halappa had informed the House that farmers in Koppal were facing crop loss with the mushrooming of windmills driving wildlife into agricultural lands.
Rai also said 189 birds and animals have died at Mysore’s Sri Chamarajendra zoo in the last three years. While some died of natural causes, others perished because of injuries, malnutrition and diseases.