Sunday, 26 July, New Delhi : Scaling up the controversy over a reply on farmers’ suicide by the Government, the constituents of erstwhile Janata Parivar have decided to press for the resignation of Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and give a privilege notice against him in Parliament tomorrow.
While JD(U) will give the privilege notice in Rajya Sabha tomorrow alleging “deliberate misrepresentation of fact” by the Union minister, former Prime Minister and JD(S) chief H D
Devegowda will address a farmers gathering at Jantar Mantar in protest against the reply and subsequent remarks of senior BJP leaders including Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on the issue.
The constituents of Janata Pariwar are raking up the controversy at a time when JD(U) in alliance with Congress and RJD is locked in a tough electoral battle in the agrarian state Bihar, where Assembly polls are due in next few months.
Singh’s reply in Parliament having a reference to love affairs among others being a cause when asked about reasons for farmers’ suicide had triggered a storm on Thursday with Opposition parties accusing Government of being insensitive.
“Devegowda ji will address a meeting of various farmer organisations tomorrow, who are up in arms against the government’s reply and are seeking the resignation of the Agriculture Minister. JD(U) extends its support to the dharna and will be there.
“I urge the leader of the Janata Parivar (yet to be formalised) Mulayam Singh Yadav to sit in solidarity with Devegowda ji in the interest of farmers,” JD(U) General Secretary K C Tyagi told PTI over phone.
He also appealed to the Left parties to come forward and express solidarity on this issue.
Tyagi said the reply by Singh in Rajya Sabha on the issue and subsequent remarks by senior BJP leaders and Union ministers including Jaitley show the “insensitiveness” of the NDA government towards the cause of farmers.
“This is a bigger issue than corruption. It is an insult to farmers. We feel that Singh should also resign and Opposition should now demand resignation of four BJP leaders — the other three being External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje (both on Lalit Modi controversy) and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” he insisted.
As the controversy brewed over Singh’s reply, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday dug out written replies in Parliament during the previous UPA regime, listing out ‘love affair’ as one of the several reasons for farmers’ suicides.