BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today asked farmers in Maharashtra not to resort to suicide and assured that his party was firmly behind them.
"Committing suicides is not the way to fight the crisis," Modi said during a 'kisan pe charcha' (discussion on farmers) interaction with farmers at this village in Yavatmal district of Vidarbha region which has seen the maximum number of farmer suicides in the last decade.
BJP will support the farmers in Maharashtra who were recently hit by severe hailstorms, Modi said.
"Not only are farmers committing suicide, but after them, their family members are also ending their lives," Modi said.
Saying that more farmers were dying than the number of fatalities in the war, Modi said this was not a political issue but an issue of national pain.
"We will have to develop a system where our hard-working farmers won't have to commit suicide," he said.
When banks were nationalised, a promise was made that banks would help the poor. But now this is not the situation, he said.
"Hardly five per cent of the banks' funds go to farmers. It should be made mandatory for banks to give loans to farmers. An important reason why farmers are committing suicide is that they borrow money from money-lenders," Modi said.
Farmers will have to be freed from the of clutches of money-lenders, Modi said.
"When big defaulters fail to repay loans, banks turn a blind eye. However, they run after farmers who fail to repay loans," Modi said.
"If we have to revive the country's economy, we will have to boost the agriculture," Modi said.