BJP indulging in politics over farmers: Baghel

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday accused the BJP of doing politics over farmers, saying the earlier BJP government in the state had filed an FIR when Congress leaders visited the family of a farmer who killed himself.

Baghel intervened during Question Hour in the Assembly after Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik raised the issue of suicides by farmers in the state and sought compensation to the nearest kin.

Kaushik sought to know the reasons for farmers’ suicides from April 2020 to February 2 this year. He wanted district-wise data, compensation given and, if not, when they will be disbursed.

Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey said 141 farmers committed suicide in this period. A Patwari, Dongar Nag, was suspended over errors in records in Keshkal in Kondagaon district.

Raising supplementary questions, Kaushik said the government had been blaming mental illness and other reasons for the death of farmers, which he said was an insult to the deceased.

Choubey replied that only one suicide note was received blaming spurious pesticides. Raids were conducted after that against 50 pesticide outlets in Durg and Rajnandgaon.

The Chief Minister then pointed out how during the BJP rule FIR was lodged against Congress leaders for visiting the residence of a farmer who had committed suicide.

Baghel insisted there was no provision for compensation for suicides by farmers and if indeed there was, he asked why no compensation had been given to the 200 farmers who have killed themselves while protesting against the Central farm laws on Delhi’s borders.

It is sheer politics by the opposition in the name of farmers, he said. This triggered sloganeering by BJP members who walked out of the House.