3,228 farmers ended lives in 2015 In Maharashtra

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Mumbai, Jan 24: Two days after Maharashtra government informed the high court that 1,000 farmers committed suicide in the state in 2015, figures provided by its Relief and Rehabilitation department have now revealed that the total number of farmers, who ended their lives last year stands at 3,228.

The state government told the Bombay High Court on Thursday that as many as 1,000 farmers killed themselves in Maharashtra in 2015. However, the Relief and Rehabilitation department revealed that the total number of farmers’ suicides add up to 3,228, of which 1,841 farmers were eligible for compensation.

The state Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse claimed that while both the figures were “correct”, what the government submitted in HC was the number of farmers, who killed themselves purely for farm-related reasons and hence are eligible for compensation.

Nonetheless, the opposition Congress has taken the opportunity to slam the BJP-led state government and vowed to take up the issue in the next Assembly session.

The figures provided by the Relief and Rehabilitation department reveal that the highest number of suicides were from the Amravati division (1,179), followed by Aurangabad division (1,130). 459 farmers committed suicide in the Nashik division, 362 in Nagpur, 96 in Pune and two in Konkan division.

“Though there are a large number of farmers’ suicides, those eligible for compensation are comparatively less. For 2015, out of the total 3,228, as many as 1,842 farmers are eligible for compensation from the state government,” an official from the department said.

Criticizing the state government for its “extremely casual attitude”, senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan demanded that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis immediately clarify the government’s stand on the issue.

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