Taking a bizarre stand on farmers’ suicide, independent MLA from Maharashtra Bacchu Kadu sparked controversy by dragging Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP Hema Malini into the row.
Dismissing claims that alcoholism was responsible for farmers’ suicide, Kadu said, “Hema Malini drinks everyday, but does she commit suicide?” .
Speaking at a press conference in Nanded, Maharashtra, Kadu said even the notion that farmers commit suicide due to burden of excess expenditure on marriages is incorrect. Detailing the argument he said, “ All these reasons are nonsensical. Gadkari spent Rs. four crore on his son’s wedding. So should we now wait for him to commit suicide?”
Maharashtra has been grappling with severe farm crisis and reports farmer suicides almost every other day. Nearly 90 lakh farmers have been impacted by the drought , official data shows.
As many as 3,228 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra in 2015 , according to data tabled in the Rajya Sabha on March 4, 2016–that is almost nine farmers every day. Vidarbha and Marathwada, with 5.7 million farmers, accounted for 83% of all farmer suicides in Maharashtra in 2015
The real cause, Kadu said, was the is lack of money. “Professor Swamninathan always said that farmers’ produce is increasing but not their income,” he said.
RJD leader Lalu Prasad had earlier courted controversy by ‘promising to make the roads in Bihar ‘as smooth as Hema Malini’s cheeks.’