Yeddyurappa meets PM over fertilizer shortage (Second Lead)

June 12th, 2008 - 1:05 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here Wednesday evening to seek an immediate supply of fertilizers for his state, which is grappling with farmers’ agitations over fertilizer shortage. “I met the prime minister for the second time after assuming office on May 30 and drew his attention to the severe shortage of fertilizers in Karnataka,” Yeddyurappa told reporters.

“Though the union secretary of the fertilizer ministry visited the state after my first meeting and (there were) assurances by the union government, our demands have not been fulfilled,” he said.

Yeddyurappa is also expected to meet Fertilizer Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to reiterate his demand.

“Though the states in which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is in power are being discriminated against, I have full faith in the prime minister and hope he will meet our demands,” the chief minister said.

Yeddyurappa, who is the first BJP chief minister of a southern state, blamed the six-month president’s rule preceding the elections in Karnataka and the central government’s lack of concern for the agitations in the state.

He gave figures of the quota and the shortfall in the supply of Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and fertilizer complex in Karnataka.

The central government has failed to sanction the subsidy amount to the fertilizer companies, which adds to the woes, he said.

“We are having problems in the entire state. But I have ordered the police to not fire at agitating farmers,” Yeddyurappa said.

On Wednesday, a farmer was killed in Haveri, 350 km from Bangalore, when police opened fire at a group of agitating farmers, who were demanding fertilizers ahead of the sowing season. Three other farmers were injured in the firing.

The chief minister, who visited the family of the deceased, broke down after hearing their woes.

“We have ordered an inquiry into the incident and will get a report within 10 days. It appears to be a case in which certain political forces and anti-social elements were involved,” he said.

Farmers in Hassan, Dharwad and Davangere have been agitating for nearly a week on the shortage of fertilizers.

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