Congress asks PM to explain BJP MP's anti-farmer comment

Digvijay-Singh (File) Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Thursday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's explanation on farmers' suicide after BJP MP Gopal Shetty was quoted in media reports as saying farmers in India committing suicides was a fashion.

"Modi should clarify whether the manner in which farmers are committing suicide is a fashion or helplessness," Digvijay Singh told reporters at the Congress party office in Panaji.

"All farmer suicides are not only because of hunger and unemployment. There is a fashion, a trend is on. If Maharashtra government is giving Rs.5 lakh, another government is giving Rs.7 lakh, Rs.8 lakh. There is a competition going on to give money to farmers," Shetty, a Lok Sabha member from Mumbai North, has been quoted as saying in the media.

Singh, who is also in charge of the party's affairs in Goa, said the BJP's concern for farmers was fake. He questioned the timing of Shetty's comment, which comes when Modi is scheduled to address a farmers conclave in Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh.

"Shetty has said that it is a fashion for farmers to commit suicide. I condemn it. And when Modi is touring the whole country and holding rallies in favour of farmers, at such a time, this comment has been made," Singh said.

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