Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday took to Twitter to appeal to farmers in distress across the country not to commit suicide. He also asked the respective state governments to address the issue.
“We are with you,” he added in the tweet.
The states should immediately address the crisis facing the farmers. I appeal to farmers in distress not to commit suicide. We are with you.
— Rajnath Singh (@BJPRajnathSingh) April 10, 2015
Over the past few weeks, over a dozen debt-laden farmers have committed suicide in several parts of India. Unseasonal rains have badly damaged the winter crop in large parts of the fertile northern plains, most likely contributing to the suicides, and villagers have blamed the ruling government for not stepping in to help the distressed farmers or ensuring that crop prices remained stable. The government’s introduction of the controversial land acquisition ordinance has been challenged by a group of farmers’ associations who moved the Supreme Court on Thursday. Alleging that the ordinance was a fraud on the Constitution, the groups urged the court to quash the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015, promulgated on April 3. Street protests by Congress and other opposition parties with regard to the bill have also created headache for the ruling dispensation. Among those opposition leaders is Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who tweeted on Saturday that he will visit few rain-hit villages to estimate the damage incurred to the crops and is expected to announce relief for the farmers. “Farmers have suffered huge losses due to recent rains. Will visit a few villages n meet them to see how govt can help them,” he said in a tweet on Saturday morning.
Farmers have suffered huge losses due to recent rains. Will visit a few villages n meet them to see how govt can help them.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 11, 2015
Kejriwal is scheduled to address a public meeting at Mundka in West Delhi later on Saturday. A delegation of farmers had met Kejriwal on Friday and urged him for a survey of crop losses due to untimely rains and compensation according to its findings.
(With inputs from PTI and Reuters)