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MP minister flayed for comment on suicides


Hemender Sharma,CNN-IBN
Jan 13, 2011 at 02:51pm IST

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Agricultural Minister Ramkrishna Kusmaria has now blamed old laws for failure to check farmer suicides just a day after making a startling statement that such suicides were the result of past sins.

"Farmers are committing suicides to pay for their old sins. They have made agriculture land barren by using fertilizers and chemicals," Kusmaria had said on Wednesday

The stunning words from the Agricultural Minister came at a time when farmers have been committing suicide and five cases have been reported in the last 15 days alone.

MP minister flayed for comment on suicides

Ramkrishna Kusmaria has now blamed old laws for failure to check farmer suicides.

In two of the five cases, the farmers came from Damoh, the home district of Kusmaria.

The statement came a week after the state administration tried to cast a different spin on a farmer's suicide.

"The suicide had nothing to do with debt or a failed crop. He was mentally challenged," Damoh SDM MK Shrivastava had claimed when asked about one of the suicide cases.

But it is not just an inability to repay loans from money-lenders that has forced farmers to take their own lives. It's a vicious combination of debt and successive crop failures and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan's explanations are beginning to ring hollow.

"We will do all that is possible to help the farmers and make agriculture profitable so we can avert such mishaps," Chauhan said.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Minister's comments are being exploited by the opposition Congress.

"They had promised uninterrupted power, but they did not give that neither have they been provided with insecticides and fertilizers. Under these circumstances when they say that the farmers are paying for their sins the fact is that the farmers are paying for the sins of the government," said Congress leader Arvind Malviya.

In the face of these suicides and attempted suicides the Agriculture Minister's statement has come as a shocker. The Chief Minister misses no opportunity in saying that he is committed towards making agriculture a profitable venture but when it comes to owning up responsibility and taking action there is none.

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