JAIPUR: Holding Congress government's loan waiver scheme promise responsible, a Rajasthan based debt-ridden farmer ended his life on Sunday. A resident of Thakri village, Sohan Lal Kadela consumed poison at this home. He died while he was being taken to the hospital.
The police who recovered a video and suicide note from where he has blamed Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and deputy CM Sachin Pilot. Though the police initially denied the presence of any letter, they had to accept the same after the incident went viral.
"The suicide note has been found but it is to yet to be ascertained whether it belongs to the deceased or not," said Hemant Sharma Superintendent of Police Sri Ganga Nagar.
The deceased also recorded a video of himself before consuming poison. In the video which is uploaded to the social media, Sohan Lal says, "no one asks you the reason to live while you are alive, but after you die, everyone asks, why you died." In the video, he has also blamed the Congress government for not fulfilling their promise of loan waiver as they had promised before the assembly elections. "People have been troubling me and demanding money. My death should not go waste and other farmers should benefit due to my death," Sohan Lal said further. He has also urged other villagers to unite and fight the cause together.
The incident has sparked a protest with farmers taking to the streets in Sri Ganganagar on Tuesday. Shyopat Ram Megwal, a local farmer leader and Sohan's friend says that the political parties have broken their trust. "The promise by the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot that they will waive our loans was broken. They have completely turned their backs on us which led to suicide. He had a debt of over close to 3 lakh on his head. At the time of the elections, political parties promise a lot but never fulfil them on the ground and this is demolishing the hopes of the farmers," he added.
Police have started the investigations."The loan waiver announcement was made within 10 days but it didn't happen till now. We are now investigating how much money has he borrowed and from which bank. There is some evidence of him borrowing money from people too. After a thorough investigation, action will be taken," said Jai Singh Tanwar, Deputy SP, Sri Ganganagar.
In the last elections, farm loan waiver was a big issue. Congress president Rahul Gandhi had promised during a Jodhpur rally that their Government will waive off the loans in just 10 days after coming to power. BJP had also announced earlier that they will waive off the loans up to 50000 rupees.
On Tuesday, Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Mahasabha organised protests in all tehsil headquarters demanding compensation for the family of the deceased farmer. They also raised other concerns of the farmers and said that Sohan's suicide will not go in vain. But the matter is now taking a political turn after BJP MP from Ganganagar, Nihalchand raised the issue in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha speaker has asked the state and the central government to intervene in the matter.
"We have waived off 2 lakh rupees loans for farmers who borrowed from cooperative banks and almost Rs 18,000 crores in total has been waived off. We will also waive off the loans from the nationalized and private banks soon," said Raghu Sharma, Head of the Congress campaign committee and state health minister.
"BJP has nothing to do with the farmers. They have no right to blame us. When the UPA government was at the Centre, loans worth Rs 72000 crore were waived off. We are waiving off more loans."
Just last month, in Tonk's Niwaria village, another farmer identified as Balu, ended his life because of heavy debt of Rs 12-13 lakh which he had borrowed from banks and private sources.