NEW DELHI: Carrying on with his poll campaign pitch of agrarian distress, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday raised the issue in the Lok Sabha which invited a quick rebuttal from the deputy leader of the House Rajnath Singh.
Raising the issue of farmer suicides in his constituency Wayanad in Kerala during Zero Hour, Rahul reiterated his charge that while farmers are being chased by financial institutions for loan recovery, the Centre was writing off loans of industrialists worth lakhs of crores of rupees.
Rahul, who was allowed to raise the issue out of term by Speaker Om Birla, said: “It hurts me to inform that just yesterday a farmer committed suicide in Wayanad due to crushing debt. The deceased had a debt of Rs 3 lakh. This year as many as six farmers have committed suicide in Wayanad.”
The Congress leader alleged that despite the moratorium announced by the state government, financial institutions were harassing farmers for loan recovery. He said the farmers’ financial conditions had aggravated during the NDA government’ tenure and called upon the Centre to ask Reserve Bank of India for restraint.
Joining the issue with Rahul, Rajnath countered that the farmers’ debt crisis had not arisen in the recent past but was a legacy of the past Congress governments. He claimed the income of farmers had increased by 25-30 per cent during the Modi government’s tenure on the back of pro-farmer measures, including increase in minimum support prices.