Congress turns heat on BJP over ‘farmer suicide’ in Uttarakhand
After suicide by a debt-ridden Haldwani transporter, who’d blamed demonetization and GST for his losses earlier this month, the Congress now turned the heat on the ruling BJP over the latest in a series of alleged farmer suicides in the statedehradun Updated: Jan 24, 2018 21:38 IST
After suicide by a debt-ridden Haldwani transporter, who’d blamed demonetization and GST for his losses earlier this month, the Congress now turned the heat on the ruling BJP over the latest in a series of alleged farmer suicides in the state.
State Congress president Pritam Singh will on Thursday visit the family members of Sudesh Kumar Tyagi, a farmer from Sherpur-Khelmau village in Roorkee, whose body was found in the Ganga Canal in Noida last week.
The farmer allegedly ended his life as he was unable to pay a bank loan of ₹3 lakh. The party said it would “provide all possible help” to Tyagi’s family.
Blaming the BJP for a series of “farmer suicides” in Uttarakhand over the past months, Singh said the BJP government had failed to dole out farm loan waiver, even though agriculturists were under “extreme pressure” to repay their loans.
“The BJP had promised to waive off farmers’ loan before the (2017 assembly) elections but chose to conveniently forget about it once it came to power. And now, instead of trying to understand their plight, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is coming up with insensitive statements like “suicide threat has turned sort of a fashion’ in the state,” Singh said, calling for immediate action on providing loan waiver to farmers.
It is worth recalling that at least six farmers had allegedly committed suicide in Uttarakhand last year.
As per government figures, over 4.21 lakh farmers had taken loans in the state and the quantum of farmers’ loans in Uttarakhand stood at ₹4,821 crore as on March 31, 2017.
At the state assembly’s winter session held in Gairsain in December 2017, the BJP-led state government had ruled out the possibility of providing farm loan waiver owing to the ‘weak’ financial health of the state.
The BJP, meanwhile, hit back at the Congress for “politicising” an unfortunate incident.
“We (government) are providing loans to farmers at 2% interest rate and are also taking many other steps to help the farmers,” said Madan Kaushik, cabinet minister and official spokesperson of the government.
‘Govt not releasing funds for bridges in disaster-hit Kedarnath assembly’
A delegation of Congress leaders on Wednesday met chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh, calling for urgent release of funds meant for reconstruction of bridges that were damaged during the 2013 natural disaster in the Kedarnath assembly constituency in Rudraprayag district.
The delegation led by Kedarnath MLA Manoj Rawat said the erstwhile Congress government had sanctioned funds for the construction of bridges but the current government had failed to release the additional funds required for the purpose.
“In the absence of bridges, locals are risking their lives every day to cross the rivers, with school children, elderly, ill persons and pregnant women being the worst hit,” Rawat said.