Taking note of Congress president and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi’s request, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the district collector to probe circumstances that led to the suicide of a farmer, and has sought a report on the same.
In a letter dated May 31 to the Congress chief, the Chief Minister wrote, “I have asked the District Collector, Wayanad, to conduct a detailed inquiry into the suicide of V.D. Dinesh Kumar and submit a report to the Government at the earliest for taking further action including any financial assistance.”
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.@RahulGandhi, Wayanad MP, requested an enquiry into a farmer suicide case. Have asked the DC to submit a report. Also, the loans from commercial banks come under the SARFAESI Act & it’s for the GoI to take a stand. We hope that he will join us in raising the issue in parliament
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) May 31, 2019
Vijayan’s response came hours after the newly-elected Wayanad MP sought an inquiry and urged the Chief Minister to find “long-term measures” to free farmers from the “vicious dept trap” that they are caught in.
The Chief Minister, however, claimed that the issue of debts can only be tackled by the Centre and urged Gandhi to take up the issue in Parliament. “As you were aware the state of Kerala is taking continuing efforts to help the farmers and has announced moratorium on repayment of farmers’ loans till the end of this calendar year,” he said.
“You would agree with me that the farmers across the country are facing several distress on account of the difficulty in repaying the agricultural loans taken from commercial banks and informal lenders who charge usurious interest. As these loans from commercial banks come under the SARFAESI Act, it is for the Government of India to take a considered stand with regard to the outstanding farmers’ debt with the banks. This issue needs to be raised in Parliament and I hope that you will join us in taking up the issue of relief for the debt afflicted families in Kerala as well as in other parts of the country,” Vijayan added.
On Friday, Gandhi also offered the government his “fullest support and cooperation in finding concrete long-term solutions to the critical issues Kerala’s farmers are faced with and in ensuring every farmer in Kerala can live a life of dignity.”