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Yeddyurappa sees bid to politicise farm suicides

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Unhappy: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa addressing presspersons at Anjanapur in Shikaripur taluk on Saturday.
Unhappy: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa addressing presspersons at Anjanapur in Shikaripur taluk on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

Accuses Opposition of conspiracy to embarrass Government

Farmer committed suicide in Shikaripur taluk on Friday

Fertilizer scarcity not the reason, says Chief Minister

SHIMOGA: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has decried what he sees as attempts to politicise the suicide by a farmer at Anjanapur in Shikaripur taluk, which he represents, in the early hours of Friday.

On Saturday, the Chief Minister called on the relatives of the farmer Narayanaswamy (45), who committed suicide by consuming pesticide. He consoled the family after laying a wreath on the body.

Later, talking to presspersons at Anjanapur, Mr. Yeddyurappa expressed anguish over the tendency of the Opposition parties to attribute the farmer’s suicide to the scarcity of fertilizers and seeds.

The relatives of the dead farmer claimed that he ended his life because he was unable to get his quota of fertilizers despite several efforts.

Warning

But the Chief Minister wondered how the relatives could say this after initially attributing it to a dispute in the family. He warned that he would be forced to counter politically what he termed a conspiracy to embarrass his Government on this issue.

He said he had been in Shikaripur since Friday afternoon, and nobody even suggested that the farmer had committed suicide because he was unable to get fertilizers. It was attributed to a dispute between Narayanaswamy and his some of his relatives over the sharing of a tarpaulin.

The relatives of the farmer had even told the police that Narayanaswamy committed suicide because of a dispute over the sharing of a tarpaulin.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said that when he came to know about the suicide, he gave Rs. 10,000 as immediate relief to the bereaved family. Therefore, he was astonished when a particular TV news channel began to attribute the suicide to the farmer’s inability to get fertilizers.

It was a deliberate attempt to distort the truth and sully the image of the Government. He warned that spreading misinformation about such incidents was an offence.

When the correspondent of the TV news channel concerned tried to justify his reportage on the incident, the Chief said, “Your job is only to report the truth. You have to do it carefully. Don’t try to interpret the incident in any manner you like.”

Several representatives of cooperative societies, who were present, claimed that the farmer’s death had nothing to do with the scarcity of fertilizers.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said he had never taken farmers’ suicides lightly. “But how fair is it to hold the Government responsible for each and every suicide by farmers even though it may be due to personal reasons,” he asked.

The Chief Minister said he would convene an emergency meeting of the high-level committee to discuss the problem arising out of the scarcity of chemical fertilizers. He appealed to farmers to show restraint.

He would also lead another all-party delegation to Delhi to request Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ramvilas Paswan to ensure that the required quantity of fertilizers was despatched to the State.

When he met Dr. Singh and Mr. Paswan recently, he was promised that 1.40 lakh tonnes of fertilizers would reach the State by June 20. “What we have received till yesterday (Friday) is hardly 40 per cent of what was promised to us,” he said.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly M. Mallikarjun Kharge will call on the bereaved family at Anjanapur on Sunday.

Compensation paid

However, what came as a surprise was the payment of Rs. 1 lakh as compensation to Narayanaswamy’s family by the Shikaripur tahsildar on Saturday, which they are not eligible for if he had committed suicide because of a family dispute.

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