It's a fashion for farmers to commit suicide: BJP MP

Shetty is a senior leader of the BJP and represents Mumbai North

It's a fashion for farmers to commit suicide: BJP MP

In a major embarrassment for the BJP and at a time when the Devendra Fadnavis-led saffron alliance combine is finding it difficult to tackle the agrarian crisis and drought, BJP MP from Mumbai, Gopal Shetty has said that it has become a “fashion” for farmers to commit suicides.

While the BJP-Shiv Sena government preferred be guarded the opposition parties – the Congress and the NCP has launched a scathing attack on ruling dispensation.

Shetty is a senior leader of the BJP and represents the Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat. 

He is a former corporator, an ex-Deputy Mayor of Mumbai and a former MLA from Borivli seat.

“Not all farmers’ suicides happen due to unemployment and starvation. A fashion is going on. A trend is on…. If Maharashtra government is giving Rs 5 lakh as compensation, then some other government in neighbouring state is giving Rs 7 lakh,” Shetty said on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday morning, however, he have a guarded reaction and said: “I was saying that the previous governments haven’t paid attention to this. Farmers are facing problems because of this. Another thing which I said was that there is a competition among the state governments, but instead of competition I used the word fashion and that has become an issue.

“…I was saying that if one state gives Rs five lakh compensation to the farmers committing suicide, the second state will give Rs 8 lakh and the third will give Rs 9 lakh. This sort of competition shouldn't be there.”

“It is very insensitive,” said Maharashtra Congress chief and former chief minister Ashok Chavan. 

“The government has messed up the agrarian issue. We would come to the streets to highlight the issue of farmers,” he said in Sangli. Former chief minister and veteran Congressman Prithviraj Chavan said: “Such kind of statements reflects gross insensitiveness on part of the government.”

Senior NCP leader Chitra Wagh said that Shetty needs to visit the suicide-prone areas and see for himself what is happening there. “He need to go there and see…you go to Yavatmal and see,” she said. 

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