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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

RJD MLA threatens self-immolation on August 15

PTI  Patna, August 13, 2014
First Published: 17:14 IST(13/8/2014) | Last Updated: 17:16 IST(13/8/2014)

RJD MLA Dinesh Kumar Singh, who is on a hunger strike for the third day on Wednesday threatened self immolation on Independence Day if Bihar government did not declare drought in the state to help farmers tide over the problems due to scarcity in rainfall.

"I will immolate myself on August 15 if drought is not declared in the state by tomorrow. I am fighting for farmers who are being ruined due to scarce rainfall. They have been unable to sow paddy this season, but the state government is not worried about them," Singh told PTI.

Singh, who is the MLA of Jagdishpur constituency in Bhojpur district of Bihar, is on a hunger strike since Monday in support of his demand.

The police had forcibly admitted him to Patna Medical College and Hospital the day he launched his fast outside the chief minister's official residence in the state capital.

Singh has refused to end his agitation.

"Bihar's economy is dependent on agriculture, but the state government is not bothered about irrigation.

The farmers are crying. Their families are staring at a ruined future and prospects of hunger," he said.

The RJD MLA accused the government of not taking sincere steps to mitigate the situation despite knowing that there was a crisis like situation with regard to irrigation in the state.

He claimed that a majority of tubewells in Bihar were not functional. These could have helped farmers had they been repaired in time.

It showed the callousness and irresponsibility of the government towards agriculture and farmers, he said adding the farmers would not be able to sow their crop even if there is heavy rainfall.

Singh said that the Sone River canal system spread over several districts in western Bihar is still dry despite government's assurance that water was being released.

The RJD MLA had sat on dharna outside the main gates of Bihar assembly from July 21 to July 23 demanding release of water in the canal system and declare drought in the state.

The assembly was in session at that time and he ended his agitation after leaders cutting across party lines expressed their support for his cause and several ministers of JD(U) had assured him that the state government will take it up seriously.

Singh had broken his fast that time after Lalu Prasad's wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi visited him and offered him a glass of juice.

However, this time no leader of any political party visited him at the hospital.

"I have my own life and I will use it for the farmers," he said.


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