On average one farmer suicide is being reported every day in Madhya Pradesh since the police firing on agitators in June this year, the state unit of Congress claimed on Sunday, while releasing a list of 126 farmers who killed themselves in this period.
“Since police firing killed six farmers in Mandsaur on June 6 this year, on average one farmer has committed suicide every day. As many as 126 farmers committed suicide in the past 124 days due to indebtedness and agrarian distress,” Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Singh said.
Singh, in a statement, demanded a farm loan waiver.
“The government should immediately waive agriculture loans and pay a compensation of Rs five lakh and provide job to a family member of farmers who committed suicide,” he said. Several districts in the state are reeling under drought but the BJP government has yet to make preparations to give relief to farmers, he said.
“Farmers are under stress due to a drought situation across several districts. Farmers are forced to commit suicide due to frequent crop failures and apathetic attitude of the government,” he added. BJP’s Kisan Morcha (farmer wing) state president Ranveer Singh Rawat denied the allegation that farmers are committing suicide due to agrarian distress.
“There are several reasons, like family-related or personal, when a person takes the extreme step. The BJP government has taken unprecedented steps for the welfare of farmers in the past 14 years. Congress is levelling false allegations out of desperation to get power,” he said.
“The state government has always helped whenever farmers faced natural calamities. Agricultural production has reached record levels. Farmers are never coerced into repaying loans which are provided at zero percent interest,” he added.
According to the list released by the Congress, the highest number of suicides – 15 – was reported in Sehore, home district of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, since June 6.
Sehore was followed by two districts in the Bundelkhand region, Sagar and Chhatarpur, where 14 and 8 farmers committed suicide, respectively.
Seven farmers committed suicide in Vidisha and Barwani, six in Hoshangabad, five each in Sheopur and Raisen, four each in Shivpuri, Dhar, Satna, Tikamgarh and Morena, three each in Khandwa, Baitul and Ujjain, two each in Rajgarh, Balaghat, Neemuch, Bhopal, Chhindwara, Panna, Dewas, Indore, Mandsaur, Gwalior and Khargone and one each in Harda, Narsinghpur, Datia, Katni, Sidhi, Damoh, Jabalpur and Ashok Nagar, the Congress claimed.