New Delhi: Under attack after Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh cited love affairs and impotency among other reasons for farmers' suicides, BJP today said his statement had been misinterpreted and claimed that the number of farmer suicides has come down due to government's efforts.
The party in a statement said Singh's remarks were taken out of context and recalled that the previous UPA government had also given similar replies in Parliament.
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Singh had said that the causes of suicides by farmers due to agrarian reasons include indebtedness, crop failure, drought, socio-economic and personal ones including love affairs, barrenness and impotency, which caused indignation with Opposition leaders dubbing the Minister insensitive.
BJP today cited official figures to claim that the number of suicides by farmers had come down under the rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"According to the National Crime Records Bureau data, 11,772 farmers committed suicide in 2013. It's a matter of relief that due to positive steps taken by the Modi government, the numbers came down in 2014. 5,650 farmers ended their lives in 2014, meaning suicide numbers fell down by half in the initial year of the NDA rule," BJP said in a statement.
Defending Singh's statement yesterday, the party said he had cited data provided by NCRB and it was not the Agriculture Ministry's job to collate figures of farmers' suicides.
The Ministry under the previous UPA government had also replied in a similar format, it said, citing answers given on February 26, 2013 and March 30, 2012 in Parliament.
Sections of media distorted the reply to reach fabricated conclusions, BJP said, calling it "totally unfair".
"There are two facts. Farmers suicide numbers have come down. Secondly, showing sensitivity, the government, for the first time, has put out details of farmers suicides on the NCRB website so that details could be put before people transparently," BJP said.