A day after kicking up a storm for terming farmer suicides a “fashion trend”, BJP MP Gopal Shetty Thursday went into damage control mode and said he should have been more careful with his words.
“This discussion on the growing competition between states for compensating farmers who commit suicide was held in the Lok Sabha as well. Instead of the word competition, I uttered the word fashion which has led to this controversy,” said Shetty.
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While speaking on the sidelines of an event in his constituency Wednesday, Shetty had said: “All suicides do not happen because of unemployment or hunger. A fashion trend is going on these days. If the Maharashtra Government is giving Rs 5 lakh as compensation, the other state gives 7 and the next 8 lakh. There is competition in giving compensation to farmers.” As his remarks invited sharp criticism from the opposition, Shetty on Thursday said he should have been more careful.
“I know how those words would have sounded to a common man, let alone a farmer. My intention though was not to hurt anyone…I wanted to say that rather than having this competition among state governments there should be some long term steps that need to be taken to stop this from happening rather then distributing money. That is what I wanted to suggest. However, instead of the word competition. I said fashion,” said Shetty. Explaining his remark, Shetty said he was pushing for concrete steps to tackle farmer suicides instead of just monetary compensation.