CHANDIGARH:Rahul Gandhi on Thursday visited the family of a debt-ridden Punjab farmer who committed suicide last week, barely a month after he had met the Congress vice-president to apprise him of farmers’ distress due to unseasonal rains.
Rahul, who reached Daduwal village in Fategarh Sahib on Thursday morning and spent around 20 minutes with the family members of 60-year-old Surjit Singh, consoled them and also assured them of all support.
Surjit, had met Rahul in Sirhind on April 28 had committed suicide by consuming poison on June 10 after suffering heavy crop loss.
Thursday was the farmer’s ‘bhog’ (a post-death ritual) ceremony. Local Congress MLA Kuljeet Singh Nagra accompanied Rahul to the house. No senior party leader was present as the visit was kept low key. The deceased farmer’s son Kulwinder Singh said Rahul assured them that he will take up the issue with the Union Government. They alleged that no one from the ruling SAD-BJP Govt had bothered to enquire about their plight and visit them.
Surjit had briefed Rahul during his visit to three grain markets in Punjab recently to take stock of “tardy” wheat procurement in the state.
While explaining the farming community’s distress to the party vice-president he had then said: “If the farmers’ issues remain unresolved, many farmers might commit suicide.”