‘Pro-farmer’ BJP distances itself from Gopal Shetty’s remark

New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday distanced itself from North Mumbai MP Gopal Shetty’s ‘fashionable for farmers to commit suicide’ remark, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is making efforts to ensure that the grievances and problems of the farming community is addressed.

“The BJP does not support this statement. Our government is looking for long-term solutions to the farmers’ problems. The Prime Minister has even launched insurance scheme for the farmers,” BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh told ANI.

The BJP’s statement came as Shetty clarified his stand, saying there is a competition among the state governments to give compensation to the farmers who commit suicide.

The BJP MP from North Mumbai said that he erroneously used the word ‘fashion’ instead of ‘competition’ earlier.

“I was saying that the previous governments haven’t paid attention to this. Farmers are facing problems because of this. Another thing which I said was that there is a competition among the state governments, but instead of competition I used the word fashion and that has become an issue,” he told ANI.

“I was saying that if one state gives Rs. five lakh compensation to the farmers committing suicide, the second state will give Rs. eight lakh and the third will give Rs. nine lakh. This sort of competition shouldn’t be there. Giving money to the farmers is not a solution, there should be a long-term plan to solve this problem,” he added.

According to reports, Shetty had earlier mocked the farmers suicides in the state, calling it a fashion trend.

“Not all farmers’ suicides happen due to unemployment and starvation. A fashion is going on. A trend is on,” he told a leading TV channel.

Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had condemned Shetty’s remarks and said that it showed the BJP’s “insensitivity” towards the farmers. (ANI)