Congress stages walkout over farmers suicides

Opposition Congress on Thursday staged a walkout from the Chhattisgarh Assembly to protest statements made by ruling BJP over farmers’ suicide in the state. Raising the issue of farmers’ suicide after the Question Hour, Leader of Opposition T S Singhdeo, Congress MLA and party’s state unit chief Bhupesh Baghel, senior Congress Satyanaryan Sharma and other opposition members sought a discussion on the issue. Speaker Gaurishankar Agrawal allowed the discussion from 3 PM onwards.

Baghel said farmers are bearing the brunt of drought in the state and alleged that the government was neither fulfilling its promise to procure paddy at support price of Rs 2,100 nor providing bonus of Rs 300 to farmers. “Scarcity of relief work and no sanctioned work under MNREGA further added woes for farmers. All these things and the poor and anti-farmers policies of the government was compelling the farmers to take extreme steps,” Baghel said.

Over 25 drought-hit farmers have so far committed suicide, of whom 10 have reportedly committed suicide in Rajnandgaon district from where Chief Minister Raman Singh contested election, he claimed. “According to a report, Chhattisgarh is the third highest in farmers’ suicides in the country,” Singhdeo said.