Union minister Shobha Karandlaje slams Kerala government over recent suicide of farmer

She alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan government was not serious about farmers' issues and accused it of indulging in corruption.


Published Nov 17, 2023 | 4:10 PMUpdatedNov 17, 2023 | 4:10 PM

Shobha Karandlaje. (ShobhaBJP/Twitter)

Union minister Shobha Karandlaje on Friday, 17 November, hit out at the Left government in Kerala over the recent suicide of a paddy farmer in the Kuttanad region and accused them of failing to utilise the funds of the Union government for farmer welfare.

She alleged that the Pinarayi Vijayan government was not serious about farmers’ issues and accused it of indulging in corruption.

The Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare was talking to reporters at Sabarimala after offering worship at the Lord Ayyappa temple when it was opened for the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival.

“They (state government) are not doing anything. They are not taking the help of the central government. They are not using the funds of the central government. They are diverting the funds. That’s why many of the farmers are in trouble,” Karandlaje alleged.

Also read: Credit ratings of farmers under PRS not to be affected: Kerala HC

Accuses state govt of corruption

Charging that many of the cooperative societies in the state are in trouble, the Union minister also accused the state government of indulging in corruption even in such institutions.

Many of the farmers, who invested in cooperative societies and banks, are committing suicide because they were not getting their money back, she alleged.

The union minister urged the state government to help farmers get their invested money back.

“I visited many cooperative societies. They are telling me that the government diverts the cooperative societies’ money for other reasons,” she claimed.

That’s why the farmers, who had invested and kept their money in cooperative societies and banks, are not getting their amounts back, Karandlaje added.

Also read: A strange and faulty payment system driving paddy farmers to suicide

The farmer’s suicide

A farmer recently ended his life in the Kuttanad region of Alappuzha district due to allegedly not being paid for the paddy procured by the government.

The visuals of a video call, which the deceased man — Prasad — allegedly made just before taking the extreme step, was also aired by TV channels at the time. The video showed an emotional Prasad saying he was a failed man in life and the banks were denying him a loan because of his low CIBIL score.

He alleged that he received the paddy procurement price for the last season as post-harvest credit under the Paddy Receipt Sheet (PRS) scheme, and the government’s failure to repay it was the reason that banks denied him a loan this time.

The incident had led to severe criticism of the ruling Left in the state by the Congress-led opposition and the BJP over the alleged delay or failure in paying farmers for paddy procured from them.

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