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Varun Gandhi expresses concerns over farmer suicides in UP

Members in the Lok Sabha including several from the BJP on Thursday expressed grave concern over the agrarian crisis and made a strong plea for a fair deal to the farmer.

Raising the issue in Zero Hour, they sought remunerative prices for farm produce and cheaper credit and loan waivers to farmers in states like Uttar Pradesh which have witnessed drought. Varun Gandhi (BJP) talked of the severe agricultural distress in Uttar Pradesh, saying 75 districts have been declared as drought hit. He said that Bundelkhand region of the state was worst hit with people not having enough to eat and has witnessed one hunger death. The situation there was like that of famine in other parts of world, he contended.

Things have deteriorated for cane growers with the state government not raising the sugarcane prices for the last three years, Gandhi said. He claimed that as many as 42 farmers have committed suicide in Lalitpur district alone, adding that farmers were committing suicide out of shame after failing to repay loans.

Another BJP member Chhote Lal made a strong pitch for loan waiver for farmers in the state in view of the drought. Sushil Kumar Singh, also of the BJP, suggested that government should procure all wheat and paddy from farmers under a guaranteed price to help the agriculturists and also promote the production of cereals. Rahul Kaswan (BJP) underlined the need for a special economic package to Rajasthan to help drought-hit farmers.

Kaushalendra Kumar (JD-U) regretted that farmers were not getting better prices for their produce despite Narendra Modi assuring in the Lok Sabha election campaign that he would raise them substantially after becoming Prime Minister. He also sought Indian companies to enter the seed production business dominated by foreign concerns which charge heftily from the farmers.

Anto Antony (Congress) made a strong plea for better price for domestic rubber, contending that lakhs of rubber farmers are facing a crisis due to import of the commodity. He was supported by members from Kerala.

As they sought a response from the government, Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured them that he would bring it to the notice of the concerned minister.