Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot has urged the Rajasthan Government to provide timely assistance to farmers who have been affected by unseasonal rain and hailstorm in the State.

"The State Government, instead of playing politics over the issue, should act fast as there are reports about attempted suicides by farmers and some of them turning mental wrecks or being admitted to hospitals unable to stand the trauma," Mr. Gehlot said.

"The damages in various districts are unprecedented. The situation is very delicate in many parts as farmers are desperate after suffering heavy losses," Mr. Gehlot said in a statement on Friday. It was unfortunate that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party "played politics" over the issue in the Rajasthan Assembly for the past four days trying to suppress the opinion of the members of the Congress and other Opposition parties, he said.

Mr. Gehlot condemned the use of force against farmers who were demanding relief from the Government.