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Farmers suicide issue rocks Parliament; PM open to suggestions

Farmer attempts suicide

New Delhi:  The issue of farmers suicides and the agrarian crisis today rocked Parliament a day after a Rajasthan farmer ended his life here, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that these problems are “deep-rooted” and must be addressed collectively for which he is open to suggestions.

Expressing his anguish over the suicide by a farmer from Rajasthan during a rally by AAP here, the Prime Minister said farmers cannot be left to fend for themselves and assessment would have to be made about “shortcomings” that occurred before his government came as well as during his tenure.

Observing that nothing is more important than a farmer’s life or for that matter a human life, he said, “The problem (afflicting the farmers) is old, deep-rooted and widespread and we have to seek solutions in that context.”

“There should be a collective resolve in this regard. We have an open mind to consider any suggestion that is made… We cannot let the farmers die,” he said.

Opposition members created ruckus in the Lok Sabha over the suicide incident, leading to adjournment of proceedings even as the government said it was ready to discuss the matter.

Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh was critical of AAP over yesterday’s incident.

Making a statement in Lok Sabha, he said the crowd gathered for AAP rally there “clapped” and “raised slogans” as the farmer, Gajendra Singh, climbed up the tree and ended his life.

“Crowd was clapping. Police requested them to stop raising slogans. Generally, such people (who try to end lives) are engaged in talks to turn their mind but here the crowd kept clapping and raising slogans,” he said.

The Home Minister’s remarks drew sharp reaction from the Aam Aadmi Party.

Accusing Singh of “spreading lies” by alleging that AAP volunteers had stopped the police from helping the farmer, AAP leader Sanjay Singh told reporters that television footage of news channels of yesterday’s rally will clearly reveal the truth and show that several pleas were made to rescue the farmer but the police remained mute spectators.

It was AAP volunteers who climbed the tree to try and save  the farmer but by then he had hanged himself, he said.

Youth Congress workers staged a demonstration at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence while BJP workers protested at Delhi Police headquarters demanding action against the rally organisers.

In Dausa in Rajasthan, 41-year-old Gajendra Singh was cremated at his native village in the district, with a large number of people including politicians converging here.

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