Farmers in distress across India, especially Gujarat: Congress

New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) The state of agriculture nationally and especially in Gujarat, where more than 5,000 farmers have committed suicide between 2002 and 2012, is “shocking”, the Congress said on Friday.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the recent Patidars agitation in Surat, Gujarat, was a manifestation of long simmering discontent among the farmers in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Jobless growth in the agriculture is the hallmark of this government. Agriculture sector suicides have been very alarming in Gujarat even though Mr Modi tried very hard to hide this fact,” Singhvi said addressing the media here.

“Extremely large numbers of over 5,000 farmer suicides in Gujarat from 2002-2012 is due to the neglect of agriculture in Gujarat and is the main reason for this anger in Gujarat. Agriculture Production is -2.7 per cent, negative growth rate in Gujarat from the years 2008-2013,” he added.

“In summary, what you are seeing in Gujarat is the manifestation of deep seated and deep rooted anger of entire agricultural class, particularly in that state and generally in whole of India,” Singhvi said.

He said the agitators have vowed to not let the lotus bloom in 2017 elections.

“The importance of this resentment is the economic divide and philosophy of the ruling NDA. The Supreme Court has expressed dismay that corporate loans are being written off by banks, and since 2013-14 Rs 1,14,000 crore of corporate loans have been written off,” Singhvi said.

“In a nutshell this is the manifestation of deep rooted malady which arises from a philosophy for lack of concern for the have-nots. It is only based on sloganeering, event management focused upon a certain privileged corporate sector and not on that sector which feeds 60-65 per cent of the population, that is , farmers,” he said.

–IANS

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