Kolkata, Jan 23: Countering Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's claim that there was no suicide by farmers in West Bengal, Governor M K Narayanan today said such incidents were “unfortunately” taking place in the state.
Narayanan also said that a way has to be found to prevent the recurrence of suicides by farmers.
“Farmers' suicide is an issue engaging the attention of both the Centre and the state government. Such incidents are unfortunately taking place ... We have to find a way to ensure that this does not happen,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event to mark the 116th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
“Many of them I suppose were deeply in debt. You have to ask Jairam Ramesh what can be done about this because he is in-charge of rural programmes,” he said.
Banerjee last Thursday denied reports about farmers' suicide in the state, a day after CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat held the Trinamool Congress-led government responsible for such incidents.
“Twelve persons died due to some disease and they were not connected to farming, while reports said that some others took heavy loans from banks for personal purposes,” Banerjee had told a Panchayatiraj Sammelan at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
Karat had blamed the policy of the present state government for the suicide of “at least 21 farmers in West Bengal in recent weeks”.
“If you don't intervene to ensure that farmers get fair or minimum price for procurement and if you don't take adequate steps to alleviate their indebtedness, this will happen,” Karat had said at a news conference.
On a spate of crib deaths in the state's government hospitals, he said there was no “belittling” the issue.
“I know the state government is deeply concerned and the chief minister is personally looking into it”.
“We need to improve the facilities and that is something which cannot be changed overnight ... I am not trying to put the blame on A or B or C. But clearly we need to better our facilities and efforts are being made. The quicker the results the better,” the Governor said.