Farmers are being forced to die miserable deaths, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said on Thursday in a region which often hits the headlines for farmer suicides.
“In their greed to get foreign exchange, this government has harmed farmers,” the Gujarat chief minister said at Wardha in eastern Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region. “Farmers are dying but the government is sleeping.”
Modi attacked the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government despite talk of him not being on solid footing on this count.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal has tried to corner Modi, saying nearly 800 farmers have committed suicide in Gujarat during his reign.
“The first guarantee given by any government should be that it will not let farmers die,” Modi said.
Following the Wardha rally, Modi will visit Dabhadi, a hailstorm-hit village in Yavatmal district, where he will interact with farmers over tea.
Yavatmal reports the highest number of farmer suicides in the country.
In the run-up to Modi’s visit to the region, Kishore Tiwari, president of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, which has been documenting farmer suicides in the region since 2001, had said Modi should interact with widows of farmers.