Bangalore:State Agriculture Minister BC Patil, who had previously made a controversial statement on farmers’ suicide, has now said, “Farmers with mental impairment commit suicide”. In the past, he had said, “farmers who commit suicide are cowards.” This statement of his had received a severe backlash.
This time, speaking to reporters in Mysore, the minister said, “Everyone, including businessmen, are committing suicide. No one commits suicide because of the government’s agrarian policy. Only those with mental disabilities do.” He also said, “If you go to the farmer’s house and offer condolences, the suicide wouldn’t stop. Farmers need to work on strengthening their self-confidence. In order to achieve this end, Prime Minister has allocated Rs. 493 crore for food processing under the Atmanibhar Bharat project. The state, which has taken the first step in the scheme, has already signed an agreement with Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) to train 50 farmers every week in food processing. The training will be carried out based on a crop that is cultivated in a district.”
Attacking farmers protesting in and around Delhi, the BJP minister said, “Only the Punjab and Haryana farmers are protesting in Delhi. These same farmers were protesting against the support price and the Agricultural Produce Market Committee(APMC) system when Sharad Pawar was the agriculture minister. Now they are protesting against the amendments that will benefit the farmers.”
(The article was first published in Naanu Gauri and is translated into English by Yogesh S).