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Farmer’s suicide upsets a nation

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Farmers wait outside Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's residence to meet her, in New Delhi, on April 20, 2015

Farmers wait outside Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's residence to meet her, in New Delhi, on April 20, 2015
Farmers wait outside Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence to meet her, in New Delhi, on April 20, 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ┬ásaid he was “deeply shattered” by the suicide of a farmer at an AAP rally here, and added that efforts were on to improve farmers’ lives.

“Gajendra’s death has saddened the nation,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement, referring to the Rajasthan farmer who hanged himself from a tree in the heart of the capital.

“We are all deeply shattered and disappointed. Condolences to his family.

“At no point must the hardworking farmer think he is alone,” Modi said. “We are all together in creating a better tomorrow for the farmers of India.”

He said the farmer’s death had saddened the nation.

Gajendra Singh killed himself at an Aam Aadmi Party rally just before Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressed a gathering of thousands against the controversial land ordinance.

The prime minister’s statement – unlike that of his Bharatiya Janata Party – refrained from blaming anyone for the incident.

The suicide by a farmer here during an AAP rally caused an uproar in the Rajya Sabha , with opposition leaders demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement.

The uproar came soon after zero hour began with some opposition members trooping to the chairman’s podium. Opposition members demanded a statement from Modi over the issue.

After a brief adjournment, as the house reassembled, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad blamed the central government of NDA and AAP government in Delhi for the suicide.

“Now farmers from states like Haryana and Rajasthan, which have been feeding the nation, are committing suicide. Prime minster before election promised to stop farmer suicide, but instead farmers are committing suicide in states where there used to be no suicides,” said Azad.

“The situation has reached a level that Gajendra Singh committed suicide in Delhi… Central government and AAP government in Delhi, both are culprits,” he said.

The leader of opposition said prime minister should make a statement on the issue.

As Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said government is ready for a debate and the home minister will answer, opposition members again created an uproar leading to a short 15-minute adjournment.

When the house reassembled, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati urged government to get the suicide case probed by the CBI.

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Sharad Yadav said: “Even if you have to throw it in the ocean, procure all he grains that are left with farmers. Relief never reaches them otherwise.”

The house was then adjourned for lunch, and a debate on the issue will be taken up post-lunch.