Mangaluru, Feb 17, 2018: Chief Whip of the Government in Legislative Council Ivan D’Souza said that the Congress will hold public demonstration against the Union government demanding to protect the interest of arecanut growers.
He expressed unhappiness over the statement made by the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel in the Lok Sabha on December 22, 2017 that consumption of supari would lead to oral squamous cancer.
Speaking to mediapersons, he said “the Center is acting against the interest of arecanut growers. The Congress will discuss the issue with the senior leaders and chalk out a programme to protect the interest of the farmers.”
“When the UPA government was in power, an expert committee had submitted a report on arecanut being harmful to health. DK MP had taken up padayatra to protect the interest of the farmers of the region. When the Union Minister made the statement on arecanut being harmful to health in reply to an un-starred question by member Om Prakash Yadav, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel was in the Parliament session. He is silent over the issue,” he alleged.
He urged the Center to prove harmful substances in arecanut by furnishing required documents for the same.
“I am always in favour of the arecanut growers. I have been demanding the constitution of arecanut board in the Assembly and urged the state government to set up a board for arecanut as recommended in December 2017 by the committee headed by the vice chancellor of University of Horticultural Sciences D L Maheshwar,” he said.
“The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative Limited (CAMPCO) was functioning like an independent trader and has failed to protect the interest of the arecanut farmers,” he added.