• One farmer dies every hour under BJP rule: Congress

    One farmer dies every hour under BJP rule: Congress

    Digital Desk: The Congress party blamed the ruling BJP government's policies for farmer suicides in the country on Tuesday, claiming that one farmer committed suicide every hour.

    Addressing a press conference following the suicide of Pune-based Dashrath Lakshman Kedari on September 17, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said the farmer blamed "the BJP government's policies for his death and noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was only concerned with himself" in his suicide note.

    "Dashrath Lakshman Kedari stated in his suicide note that he had no money to repay his loans and was ending his life due to helplessness. He sought a reasonable MSP (Minimum Support Price) for farm produce as a farmers' right and blamed the incumbent government's policies for his decision to end his life "Ms Shrinate explained.

    She stated that up to 10,881 people involved in agriculture committed suicide in 2021, accounting for 6.6% of the 1,64,033 suicide deaths last year.

    "This means that 30 farmers commit suicide every day, and more than one farmer dies every hour," she explained.

    According to data from the National Crimes Record Bureau, more than 53,881 farmers committed suicide between 2014 and 2021, equating to 21 deaths per day.

    Ms Shrinate found it ironic that 2022, the year by which the government promised to double farmers' income, saw them earn "barely Rs 27 on average."

    "Who is to blame for Indian farmers' predicament? This government's policies, "Congress's leader stated.

    She also mentioned the deaths of over 700 farmers during the year-long farmers' agitation against the three agricultural reform laws, accusing the government of "apathy toward farmers and the farm sector."

    Furthermore, she stated that the government's statements before the Supreme Court that payment of MSP above 50% of farmers' costs would distort the market, and that the Centre's decision not to procure the produce if state governments paid more than the MSP clearly went against the farmers.

    The Congress leader claimed that the government had "looted the farmers" by raising diesel prices and imposing a variety of GST on farm products, including 5% on fertiliser, 18% on insecticides, 12% on farm equipment, and 18% on tractors, "pushing the production cost to Rs 25,000 per hectare."

    According to Ms Shrinate, who cited data from the National Sample Service Organization, the average daily earnings of farmers are now Rs 12 compared to an average loan of Rs 74,000.