Patna: Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi today said that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has failed to support farmers affected by unseasonal rains and claimed that the recent suicide of a debt-ridden farmer was the first such incident in the state in post-Independence era. “Nitish Kumar has failed to support the farmers in the state who were affected by unseasonal rains and cyclonic storms,” he said.
Modi, along with the Union Minister of State forSanitation and Drinking Water Ram Kripal Yadav and other BJP leaders, met the family members of farmer Gajendra Singh, in Singhara Panchayat area under Patna district.
Singh had committed suicide last week by consuming pesticide in Singhara panchayat under Patna district's Maner. Referring to reports that the Centre has denied permission to the Chief Minister to visit Janakpur in Nepal to reach out to quake-ravaged people there, the senior BJP leader said that Kumar should have visited the farmer's family to console them instead of showing ‘desperation' to visit Nepal.
Modi termed it a matter of shame that a farmer in his state took such an extreme step to end his life over non-procurement of paddy harvest despite a rice mill, owned by a local JD(U) leader, located in his neighbourhood.
Singh's suicide was the first such incident in Bihar in post-independence era, the former Deputy chief minister said.Singh took the extreme step due to mounting debt in the wake of the state's faulty foodgrain procurement policy as well as its indifference to address the woes of farmers whose crops had been destroyed by unseasonal rains and cyclonic storms over the past couple of months, Modi said in a statement.
Describing the farmer's suicide as a blot on the Kumar government, Modi asked the state to set up an all-party committee to probe the matter.
He also demanded that the government should announce Rs ten lakh compensation to the aggrieved family, government job to Singh's widow and free education for his children.