Rahul Gandhi meets family of Fatehgarh Sahib farmer who committed suicide
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday visited the family of a debt-ridden farmer, Surjit Singh, who committed suicide on June 10, a month after he had met the Congress vice-president to apprise him of farmers’ distress due to unseasonal rain.Updated: Jun 19, 2015 12:02 IST
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday visited the family of a debt-ridden farmer, Surjit Singh, who committed suicide on June 10, a month after he had met the Congress vice-president to apprise him of farmers’ distress due to unseasonal rain.
Rahul’s surprise visit has again brought the issue of farmer suicides in Punjab to the fore. Expressing solidarity with Surjit’s family, Rahul said he would take up the problems being faced by the farming community in Parliament again.
Surjit had met Rahul on April 28 at the Sirhind grain market during the latter’s whirlwind tour of Punjab “mandis”.
GIVES CHEQUE FOR Rs 2 LAKH
Rahul reached Daduwal village on Thursday morning and assured the aggrieved family of all support. He spent about 20 minutes with Surjit’s family members and also handed over a cheque for Rs 2 lakh to them. He talked about the farming issues which Surjit had discussed with him during his visit to the Punjab grain markets.
Local Congress legislator Kuljeet Singh Nagra, senior party leader Hari Singh Zira and former member of Parliament Vijay Inder Singla were accompanying Rahul. No other party leader, including state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa and party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh, was aware of Rahul’s visit. After assuring all help to Surjit’s family, the Congress vice-president left for the airport without talking to the media.
“It’s a private visit and Rahul does not want to politicise it. He was deeply hurt with Surjit’s suicide and wanted to visit his family,” said Nagra.
‘NO WORD FROM STATE GOVERNMENT’
Surjit’s son Kulwinder Singh said Rahul promised them that he would take up the issue with the Union government. “I am touched with the humbleness of Rahul as he specially came from Delhi to visit us. No leader from ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) collation government bothered to visit us,” he said.
Rahul said he would again raise the issue in Parliament as the Narendra Modi-led government was not serious towards the farmers’ problems. The government was only initiating policies to benefit the corporate houses. He said the Congress was with the family in this hour of grief and would offer every possible help.
After Surjit’s death, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal accusing them of ignoring the farmers’ issues.
‘30 FARMER SUICIDES IN A MONTH’
“It’s a shame that the SAD-BJP government is spending crores to benefit corporate houses, but is doing nothing to address the farmers’ problems. The Centre is claiming that the government had released compensation to states for farmers who suffered loss due to untimely rain and hailstorm, but farmers in Punjab have not got any relief to date. More than 30 farmers have committed suicide in the past one month,” said Nagra.
First Published: Jun 18, 2015 09:07 IST