BENGALURU: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah endorsed the cause of the rural sector by writing to finance minister Arun Jaitley supporting the demand of an ongoing agitation seeking removal of GST on all goods manufactured in the rural areas essentially by the cooperatives sector.
His letter comes just a day after former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, his mentor-turned-foe, strongly expressed support for the demand made by an agitation of the Grama Seva Sangh (GSS) spearheaded by theatre person and activist Prasanna. Gowda, who called on Prasanna on Wednesday, strongly urged the activist to give up his indefinite fast that ended on Thursday with the CM’s letter and assurance of support.
The movement against GST on handmade goods has been on for the last three months, with traders and sellers in several places refusing to pay the tax as a form of satyagraha. Conventions and interactive sessions with the rural sector have been held in several places across Karnataka.
The agitation has been gaining ground and has also had strong political tones, particularly as Karnataka is preparing to face elections in seven months time. A 20 km padayatra was done from Jinjappanagudde in Tumakuru district to Kasturba Ashram in Arasikere of Hassan district to raise awareness of the seriousness of the issue in the rural areas.
Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com