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Maha Council: Oppn, govt spar over farmers suicide in state

vidhan bhavan

Mumbai : Maharashtra Legislative Council today witnessed noisy scenes as Opposition parties questioned the government over monetary aid given to families of farmers who committed suicide and also slammed it for contending that the “sins” of the previous regime prevented it from doing the needful.

As the House assembled for the Question Hour, Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde questioned as to how many of the 3,228 farmers who as per the government data committed suicide in 2016, have been provided with monetary aid.

He also questioned that if 3,228 farmers have committed suicide, did the government present a false affidavit in the Bombay High Court, where it had said that around 1000 farmers committed suicide?

In response, Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse said there are certain norms for providing aid to families of farmers who have committed suicide.

“We are only following norms set by the previous government that entail distribution of financial aid to families. If a farmer has committed suicide due to crop failure or if he is unable to repay loans, he is entitled for help,” he said.

He added that committees have been set up at district level for finding out the cause of suicides.

Khadse further said at present, out of 3,228, about 1841 families have been given financial assistance.

“The rest did not fit into the criteria. We have asked officials to get more information on the cause of suicides,” he said.

Khadse said one of the rules the government has to follow is to wait for a viscera report of the deceased, to understand the cause of death.

“There are some cases where we haven’t got the viscera report. Also, it takes time for obtaining the report. The CM had last week instructed that labs should set aside all other work and ensure a viscera report is made within a month,” Khadse said.

Munde raised an objection to this saying a viscera report may help understand how the farmer committed suicide and not the cause of death and therefore delaying help for this reason is unacceptable.

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