CONGRESS PRESIDENT Rahul Gandhi has written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, demanding an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the suicide of a farmer in his Lok Sabha Constituency of Wayanad recently. He has also urged the Chief Minister to find “long-term measures” to free farmers from the “vicious dept trap” that they are caught in.
Rahul will visit Wayanad on June 7 and 8 to thank the voters. He had earlier spoken to the wife of V D Dinesh Kumar, the farmer who committed suicide allegedly due to non-repayment of loans last week. Rahul, in his letter, to the Chief Minister said Kumar’s case was not an “isolated one.”
“There have been a spate of farmer suicides in Wayanad due to an inability to repay loans. What is disturbing is that while the Government of Kerala has announced a moratorium on repayment of farm loans till December 31, 2019, yet farmers are still being pressurised and hounded by loan collection agents,” he wrote.
Rahul said he had spoken to Kumar’s wife, who told him that “her husband had been under severe stress due to his inability to repay the loans he had taken and this pushed him to commit suicide”. He asked the Chief Minister to order an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Kumar’s death and to extend financial support to his family.
“Moreover, given the devastating long-term impact of the 2018 floods on agriculture in Kerala, it is crucial to consider long-term measures to free our farmers from the vicious debt trap thousands of them are caught in. I offer you my 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,” he wrote.
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