MYSURU: The BJP, which is keen to expand the saffron footprint in the Vokkaliga heartland of Mandya, has set the ball rolling by commissioning Mysore Sugar Company Ltd.
The BJP government expedited modernisation of the defunct factory’s switch-on boilers, sending the message that it was implementing its budget promise. Ministers K Gopalaiah and KC Narayana Gowda commissioned the boilers, and crushing of cane will start in a couple of days. The government has assured the factory management of all financial assistance. This is bound to give the BJP political mileage, and the strength to take on rivals in the JDS-Congress bastion.
MySugar factory, which was started by Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar and contributed to economic activity, had turned sick, and cane crushing was stopped five years ago. While there were plans to privatise the factory, Raitha Sangha leaders and farmers came out strongly and staged an indefinite stir. The JDS took out a padayatra, and opposition leader Siddaramaiah had called on the activists and assured them that the Congress would revive the factory if it returned to power in 2023.
The BJP, which opened its account in the belt by winning KR Pet, is keen to emerge as a strong political force here. The government announced that it did not plan to privatise the factory, and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, after taking over, allocated Rs 50 crore for commissioning the factory. The government has already spent Rs 20 crore on the new boilers and other machinery for crushing cane, and ethanol production that is profitable to both the factory and farmers.
Meanwhile, Bommai, after inaugurating Mandya University, said the revival of MySugar will be completed soon, and crushing of cane will start. He said that Rs 500 crore will be sanctioned for modernisation of Maddur irrigation canal.