Karnataka minister takes on Pawar on endosulfan

April 18th, 2011 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, April 18 (IANS) Karnataka Energy Minister Shobha Karandlage Monday accused Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar of supporting the controversial insecticide endosulfan manufacturers and not farmers.

“He is speaking in support of endosulfan manufacturers,” Karandlage, who has vigorously campaigned for a ban on the insecticide, told reporters here.

She said the Karnataka government would re-impose the ban on the insecticide which, she asserted, was causing immense harm to farmers. The state had imposed the ban for 60 days Feb 17.

Karandlaje said she had urged Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to decide soon on re-imposing the ban till the central government accedes to the demand for a permanent ban.

Taking on Pawar for his reported statement that endosulfan cannot be banned permanently, the lone woman minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party government said: “He is speaking for the manufacturers.”

She said farmers in Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala besides Karnataka have suffered because of insecticide.

“Let Pawar get a study done on the ill-effects of endosulfan. The health of over 6,000 people have been severely affected in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada alone,” the minister said.

Endosulfan has been extensively used in Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts on the west coast to protect cashew crop from diseases. Karandlage hails from Udupi.

While imposing the 60-day ban Feb 17, the Karnataka cabinet had said that aerial spraying of the insecticide had resulted in various health problems such as children suffering physical deformities and mental retardation, skin cancer and epilepsy.

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