HYDERABAD/KARIMNAGAR: A day after the goverment released the official figures of farmers’ suicide in the state, the opposition parties launched a scathing attack on the ruling party, kicking off a political storm in the state. Meanwhile, two more debt-ridden farmers end their lives in Karimnagar district Thursday.
Taking the battle into Congress bastion, Karimnagar MP B Vinod Kumar shot off a letter to TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy highlighting the decade long turmoil of farming community in Congress-ruled states from 2004 to 2014.
Listing out the number of suicides in AP (till it was divided in 2014) each year starting from 2004, Vinod Kumar said the total number of suicides, as per the National Crime Records Bureau statistics, stood at 23,556. “This comes to an average share of 15.05 percent of farmer suicides in the country,” Vinod Kumar pointed out.
“This averages to 2,355 deaths a year, almost as much as the figures from Maharashtra, which is the national ‘leader’ in this regard. These numbers are most likely not representative of the real picture given how much under-reporting takes place. Nevertheless, it is a shocking figure and points to the reality of the Congress party’s concerns for the farmer,” Vinod Kumar said.
Putting the blame squarely on Congress party, the MP said figures indicate who is really responsible for the farmers’ plight. He appealed to the Congress to engage in a constructive discussion on how to improve the lives of farmers instead of engaging in hypocritical debate.
Leading the Congress onslaught was its working president Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka who blamed the TRS for its failure to implement the loan waiver scheme. “Had the government waived off the complete loan amount of farmers, the banks might have released their passbooks, facilitating them to get fresh loans,” Vikramarka said.
With the issue all set to take centrestage in the ensuing Assembly session, the TRS is gearing up for a debate on the floor of the House. “We want to present all the facts and figures before the House and give a befitting reply to the opposition,” a senior minister said.
Meanwhile, two debt-ridden farmers ended their lives in Karimnagar district. Ribbasu Rajamallaiah (48) of Ailapur in Korutla mandal hanged himself from a tree on the outskirts of his village on Thursday.
He used to cultivate maize in one acre of land. But his crops withered due to the dry spell.
The problems aggravated when his wife Laxmi fell ill and he had to take loans from money lenders, according his relatives.
Another farmer, Gandla Ganga Rajam (45) of Thatlavai in Raikal mandal consumed pesticide at his fields after his maize and turmeric crop wilted due to dry spell.
Gandla cultivated maize and turmeric in his three acres farmland. He had borrowed about Rs 7 lakh for farming and his daughter’s marriage.