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Only three farmer suicides in last four years in Rajasthan: Kataria

Rajasthan home minister Gulabchand Kataria on Wednesday claimed that only three farmers have committed suicide during the four years of BJP rule.

jaipur Updated: Apr 25, 2018 22:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan news,farmer suicides,Gulabchand Kataria
Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria (centre) interacting with media persons at the BJP office in Jaipur on Wednesday.(Prabhakar Sharma/HT Photo.)

Rajasthan home minister Gulabchand Kataria on Wednesday claimed that only three farmers have committed suicide during the four years of BJP rule. The opposition Congress has alleged that 92 farmers have committed suicide since the BJP came to power in 2013.

“The Congress is making false allegations. If you go by the police record, only three farmers have committed suicide in 2015 following crop damage due to a hailstorm. No farmer committed suicide in 2014, 2016 and 2017. We are investigating Tuesday’s case of a farmer’s death (in Kota division). His brother has filed a complaint that he was under the burden of debt,” he said while addressing a press conference at the BJP office.

“Deaths happen due to many reasons and it’s wrong to attribute a farmer’s death to suicide due to debt. We need some evidence either in the form of a suicide note or other evidence,” he said and added that farmers in Rajasthan have not committed suicide in the past even during drought.

While replying to a query, he said no farmers committed suicide from 2009 to 2013 during the Congress rule either.

Reacting to the statement, Rajasthan Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said that the BJP government has the habit of downplaying crime figures. “The government looks at farmers as a vote bank. The fact is that 92 farmers have committed suicide in the past four years. In Hataudi region recently, two farmers committed suicide due to crash in prices of garlic, and this has woken up the BJP government.”

Farmers have been on warpath in Rajasthan for the past one year, mainly demanding a loan waiver and fair price for their crops. The state government had agreed to most of their demands after a massive agitation in Sikar in September 2017. However, some demands are still to be implemented.

Kataria challenged the Congress to compare the figures of compensation during the Congress regime ever since it came to power in the state in 1962 with that given during the BJP regime.

“Besides loan waiver and other schemes, we have made payment of Rs 7,347 crore online to farmers. According to the Union government report, after Maharashtra, Rajasthan stands second in granting compensation to farmers,” he said.

On Niti Ayog blaming Rajasthan and some other states for pulling back India’s growth, Kataria said Rajasthan is lagging in some parameters such as education and healthcare.

Kataria refused to comment on why the appointment of Rajasthan BJP president has been delayed. “I am not in the race, but ready to take up any responsibility,” he said.

First Published: Apr 25, 2018 22:20 IST