Yavatmal, Apr 30 (PTI) Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil today said the BJP-led government in Maharashtra is “suppressing” facts regarding farmer suicides to absolve itself of liabilities. Also Read - Thousands of Maharashtra Farmers Reach Mumbai to Protest Agri Laws, to Hold Rally at Azad Maidan Today

He also demanded a compensation of Rs 15 lakh each to the families of farmers who have committed suicide in the state. Also Read - MP Police Detains Digvijaya Singh, Uses Water Canons to Disperse Congress Workers Protesting Against Farm Laws | Watch

The Leader of Opposition in the Assembly was speaking at a press conference after visiting the houses of two farmers – Madhav Shankar Rawate (75) and Shankar Bhavrao Chayare (55) – who allegedly committed suicide early this month – and consoling their family members. Also Read - Samples of Poultry From 16 Maharashtra Districts Test Positive For Bird Flu | Complete List Here

The former Maharashtra minister announced a financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each to the families of Rawate and Chayare and also to the kin of a third farmer, Prakash Nangaonkar, who too ended his life.

“I interacted with the members of the families of the deceased and villagers during my visit and I have come to the conclusion that this government is keen to suppress facts (about farmer suicides) in order to run away from its responsibilities,” Vikhe Patil said.

In the case of Nangaonkar, the village council in its report said he ended his life due to agricultural distress.

However, the district administration ignored the report and did not give his kin financial aid of Rs 1 lakh, he said.

“How can this be justified?” he asked.

The Congress leader demanded a compensation of Rs 15 lakh each to the families of farmers who have committed suicide in the state.

“I have offered free education to the children of the deceased farmers in my education institution,” he said.

Regarding tur procurement, Vikhe Patil said 4.57 lakh farmers had registered themselves to sell the produce, but tur was bought from only of 2.5 lakh cultivators.

“We demand bonus to compensate the difference in procurement price (of farm produce) and the MSP declared by the government,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.