Four farmers committed suicide in the last 48 hours because of mounting debts and crop failure.
Sanjay Deshmukh, collector of Yavatmal district, said that he was told about one farmer in the district reportedly committing suicide because of agrarian crisis.
Mohan Jadhav, a leader of farmers’ pressure group, claimed that nine farmers have killed themselves this month because of the agrarian crisis in the region. The figure was 64 in November.
“A total of 914 Vidarbha farmers have committed suicide this year,” he said.
Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti accused the ruling party of siphoning off money meant for the relief packages.
He said the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the state legislature alleged that hardly 5 per cent of 13.48 lakh distressed farmers in suicide-prone districts of Vidarbha were given aid to increase agricultural production under the relief package for farmers announced by the government.
The PAC report that was tabled in the legislature exposed the government’s claim of effective implementation of relief packages for farmers. The report also brings to fore the lack of initiative on government’s part in addressing the issue of agrarian crisis in Vidarbha with a focussed approach.
The committee found 72 cases of delay in extending aid to the kin of farmers who committed suicide. But no action was taken even after two or three years.
The PAC report was critical of the government for not making monetary provision for four heads: publicity of ban on unauthorised money lending, promotion of agriculture-based industries, joint farming of cotton and farmers’ helpline.