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NCRB figures on farmers’ suicides must break KCR’s slumber: Congress

Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has blamed the TRS Government for rising number of suicide by farmers.

Addressing a press conference, along with MLC Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, in Assembly premises on Monday, Shabbir Ali held Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao responsible for taking Telangana to second position in the list of shame in terms of farmers’ suicide. Quoting statistics released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), he said 898 farmers and 449 agricultural workers committed suicide in 2014, primarily due to the negligence of State Government.

“While the Chief Minister has all the time and money to spend on celebration of different festivals, he cares little for the farmers, who are on the spree of committing suicides. The crop loan waiver promise remained unfulfilled. While 25% of loan dues were cleared last year, this year only 12.5% of the amount has been released. Farmers already lost two seasons due to various factors and bad monsoon is set to hurt the ongoing Khariff season. But the Chief Minister is yet to hold a review meeting to assess the situation. He is not even willing to speak about the farmers’ issue,” he said while demanding that the State Government seek expert advise on how to minimise the losses and prevent more suicides.

Shabbir Ali pointed out that Congress has raised the issue of farmers’ suicide in both the Assembly and Council multiple times. “The TRS Government took all representations lightly and and played politics. This careless attitude aggravated the situation. Unlike past when suicidal tendencies were common in middle-aged or old-age farmers, these days even young farmers, in their early 20s, are committing suicide. This must be stopped at any cost,” he demanded.

The Congress leader said that KCR usually says that Telangana should be number one in the country. “If his negligent attitude towards the farmers’ community continues, then Telangana might be on top in incidents of farmers’ suicide. The NCRB figures should break KCR’s slumber on the issue,” he said.

Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy also accused TRS Government of misleading the Parliament and State Legislature by suppressing the figures related to farmers’ suicides. He said that the NCRB statistics have proved Congress party was correct. Stating that a cheating case can be booked against KCR and TRS Government for misleading the Parliament and Legislature with wrong statistics, he demanded that a White Paper be issued on farmers’ suicide. He also slammed the TRS Government for not extending the financial assistance to the families of farmers who committed suicide as per GO Ms. No. 421, which was issued by the then Congress Government in 2004. (INN)