Bengaluru, Sep 20 : Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday dubbed the farmers' protest as 'sponsored' on the floor of the Assembly, leading to a furore with Congress legislators strongly objecting to the statement.
The issue came up after a heated exchange of words in the House with opposition leader Siddaramaiah raising the slogan 'BJP is loot', to which Bommai replied by saying 'Congress is loot'.
While defending inflation in the present times, Bommai said that inflation has been there since 1970. During Congress rule, inflation was at 60 per cent which has come down to 30 per cent under the NDA, Bommai said.
The Chief Minister also mentioned that the Union government has provided minimum support price (MSP) to the farmers.
Reacting to the statement, Siddaramaiah asked Bommai that if MSP has been provided, why the farmers in the state are protesting. To this, Bommai said that the farmers' protest is sponsored.
"It's a sponsored movement," he said.
Siddaramaiah took serious objection to the Chief Minister's remark, saying that being in a responsible position, how could the Chief Minister term the farmers' protest as sponsored.
"By saying this, you are insulting the farmers. Are the farmers staging a protest in Delhi without any reason," he asked.
Senior Congress leader and former Speaker Ramesh Kumar joined Siddaramaiah and demanded Bommai to furnish more details to prove that the farmers' movement is sponsored.
To this, Bommai said, "Earlier also there were movements when Ramesh Kumar had pointed at the involvement of foreign forces. The farmers' movement is sponsored... agents are sponsoring it. It is an open secret and known truth. I am not hesitant to tell the truth."