Home Government and Policy Punjab: Days after Congress leaders boasted of clearing farm loans, farmer commits suicide in Bathinda

Punjab: Days after Congress leaders boasted of clearing farm loans, farmer commits suicide in Bathinda

PM Modi had recently criticised Congress' loan waiver promises as a 'lollipop' to cheat people and had stated that farmers need a more comprehensive and effective solution.

A 55-year old farmer has reportedly committed suicide in Bathinda, Punjab after he was unable to clear a debt of Rs 3.5 lakhs. According to reports, 55-year-old Nachhatar Singh of Ramgarh Bhunder village in Bathinda allegedly committed suicide yesterday in his fields.

As per reports, Nachhatar Singh consumed poison in his field yesterday. He owned 2.5 acres of land but had to sell it. Later, Nachhatar’s unmarried brother Teja Singh gifted his 2 acres of land to Nachhatar’s brother Sukhwinder Singh and since then Nachhatar’s family has been farming the land.

Nachhatar’s family had allegedly owed Rs 3.5 lakhs to a bank and a commission agent. Unable to clear the debt, Nachhatar was reportedly under severe mental stress and hence consumed poison in his fields. He was noticed by his son when he carried tea for Nachhatar. He was taken to a nearby hospital and later shifted to a private hospital in Ludhiana where he was declared dead.

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BKU Ugrahan, a farmers’ organisation in the area has demanded a compensation of  5 lakhs and a job for his son.

Many incidents of farmer suicides have come to light in recent times. In Karnataka, despite the Congress-JDS government declaring 44,000 crores for farm loan waivers, it was reported that only 800 farmers have been benefitted so far. In Madhya Pradesh too, the newly formed Congress government, despite promising an unconditional loan waiver, had announced a waiver scheme that benefits only a select number of farmers and comes with a bunch of terms and conditions.

PM Modi had recently criticised Congress’ loan waiver promises as a ‘lollipop’ to cheat people and had stated that farmers need a more comprehensive and effective solution.

It is notable here that just three days ago, two Punjab Congress leaders had protested against PM Modi’s statement about the Punjab government failing to help farmers and had carried a poster before the parliament that the Congress government in Punjab had cleared loans of  417387 farmers in the state by spending Rs 3445 crores.

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