Sharing “pain” over the suicide by a farmer here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the agriculture community’s problems are “old, deep-rooted and widespread” which need to be addressed collectively and expressed willingness to accept any suggestion with an open mind.
Making a statement in Lok Sabha after members expressed deep anguish over yesterday’s incident, he said the farmers cannot be left to fend for themselves and assessment would have to be made about “shortcomings” that occurred before his government came as well as during his tenure.
“Yesterday’s incident has caused pain to the entire nation. Members here also expressed the pain. I share the pain,” Modi said about the suicide committed by a farmer from Rajasthan at a rally organised by Aam Aadmi Party here.
Observing that nothing is more important than a farmer’s life or for that matter a human life, he said, “The problem (afflicting the farmers) is old, deep-rooted and widespread and we have to seek solutions in that context.”
He said it needs to be ascertained as to what “mistakes” have been made and “what shortcomings” have been there before his government came as well as during his tenure. The Prime Minister, during his brief intervention during an impromptu debate on the issue, said the farmers cannot be left to fend for themselves and need to be given help.
“There should be a collective resolve in this regard. We have an open mind to consider any suggestion that is made… We cannot let the farmers die,” he said.
He said governments, from time to time, have been doing their bit to address this problem. “Whatever governments could do, they have been doing,” he added.
Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government stands by the farming community and will provide whatever help is required.
Contending that compensation is provided as per a process, he said states have been asked to compensate the farmers adequately.
He said the states have been asked to draw from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) which would be reimbursed by the Centre later.