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Varun Gandhi shares video of farmer setting paddy on fire, says we should introspect why they are pushed to the edge

He said, “There is no greater punishment that a farmer can inflict upon himself than setting fire to his own crops.”

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
Updated: October 23, 2021 7:13:43 pm
BJP MP Varun Gandhi (Express file photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who has already spoken out for the agitating farmers, Saturday shared a video on social media purportedly showing a man setting fire to a heap of paddy crops after his efforts to sell it failed and urged the government to “rethink our agriculture policy.”

Later, talking to The Indian Express, Gandhi said, “There is no greater punishment that a farmer can inflict upon himself than setting fire to his own crops. We must all introspect as to why the system has pushed them to the edge for no fault of their own. It is a failure of the entire nation if we cannot protect those who feed us.”

The video shows a man throwing kerosene onto the crop and setting it on fire, while some men try to stop him. (Twitter/Screengrab)

In his tweet with the video, Gandhi, an MP from Pilibhit, said, “Samodh Singh, a farmer in Uttar Pradesh, had been running around Mandis for the last 15 days to sell his paddy crop. When he could not sell the paddy, in frustration, he himself set fire on it. Where has our system brought the farmers to? The need of the hour is to rethink our agriculture policy.”

Gandhi, who has recently been dropped from the BJP National Executive after he came out in support of the farmers who have been protesting against the contentious farm laws, had written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking relief measures for the distressed and agitating farmers.

After the Lakhimpur Kheri violence which led to the death of eight people including four farmers, he had written to the CM again seeking to register a murder case against those involved in the death of farmers and said the protesting farmers should be dealt with restraint and patience. Gandhi had asked Adityanath for a CBI inquiry in the case in a time-bound manner.

Later, on the day when some BJP leaders linked the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri to “Khalistanis”, Gandhi had cautioned against using “pejorative and demeaning” language against the “struggling farmers” and said it is “unfair and cruel” and that it could lead to “further reaction among the people who at the moment are very peaceful”.

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