Controversy over areca nut remark: Home minister Araga Jnanendra clarifies

05:00 PM Dec 31, 2022 | Team Udayavani |

Bengaluru: Facing criticism from the opposition parties over his remarks on the areca nut crop, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Saturday, hit out saying that his political opponents were spreading propaganda by twisting his speech in the Karnataka Assembly and spreading “misinformation”.


“My speech in the House has been twisted for propaganda purposes. I had talked about protecting the interest of traditional areca nut growers in the Malnad and coastal areas of the state. They are trying to spread misinformation and falsehood by selectively quoting my statement without understanding the meaning of the entire speech,” he said.

No one has forgotten the attempt made to derail the future of areca nut growers by filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that areca nut had carcinogenic properties. “I would like to recall that the special effort we put in to argue that areca nut was not carcinogenic, but rather a health booster,” he added.

“I have worked to release funds from the government for spraying medicines for the control of leaf spot disease, which has affected only the traditional areca nut growers. A team of researchers and scientists from the central government has been dispatched to conduct research into the factors that spread leaf spot disease,” Jnanendra said.

It may be recalled that Congress leader Ramanath Rai had sharply criticised Jnanendra’s remarks during the winter session in Belagavi.


Addressing the media on Friday, Rai said, “State Home Minister in the Belagavi session has said that extending the areca crop cultivation and land for it was of no use. He had said that the areca growers would suffer a lot in the coming days. Such statements by him have brought fear and a sense of insecurity among the areca growers.”

Further Rai had said “It should be noted that out of the total areca production in the country, around 50 percent of it grows in Karnataka. In recent times, the areca growers are distressed by the black spot disease in the areca plantation. The rates of farming equipment and fertilizers too have gone high. At this juncture, by his statement, there is a fear that the rate of arecanut will take a dip in the market.”

Lambasting the BJP government he had said, “BJP party works according to the whims and fancies of the corporate giants. They are always anti-farmers. While Congress was in power in the state it had implemented support price to the yield. But the BJP government has made the lives of areca growers miserable.”

“If the home minister says that the areca crop is of no use, then why is it being imported and exported? Why is there a black market? We condemn his statements. The Congress Kisan Cell will hold protests at the taluk level of the district on Saturday, December 31,” he had warned.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.