Khandwa: A farmer, who was ‘disturbed’ over the farm loan waiver announcement made by Chief Minister Kamal Nath, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in Khandwa district on Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.
On December 17, hours after taking charge as CM, Kamal Nath had cleared a proposal for waiving farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh, fulfilling a promise made by the Congress ahead of the Assembly Elections 2018.
The 45-year-old farmer was reportedly ‘disturbed’ over not being able to avail the latest crop loan waiver due to the cut-off date criterion which forced him to take the extreme step, his brother claimed.
Singh’s brother Kashiram claimed that the farmer was disturbed since the last three-four days after finding that he was unable to avail of the loan waiver facility announced by the newly-formed Congress government. He said Juvan had taken a credit of around Rs 3 lakh from a bank after March 31 this year–the cut-off date announced by the Kamal Nath government while taking charge on December 17.
“My brother was hoping that his loan would be written off. But he became disturbed since he came to know that farmers who had taken loan after March 31 are not entitled for the waiver”, Kashiram claimed.
Identified as Juvan Singh, the farmer, was found hanging from a tree in his field during wee hours on Saturday in Astariya village in the district.
Pandhana police station inspector Shivendra Joshi said that police are investigating the trigger behind the farmer taking the extreme step. “At this juncture, the police can’t draw any conclusion on the cause”, he added.
BJP MLA Ram Dangode, who represents Pandhana assembly constituency of which Astariya village is a part, said the March 31 criterion has left 95 per cent farmers of the state in the lurch. He threatened to launch a protest in Khandwa district if loans of all farmers are not waived, reported PTI.
Kamal Nath, on December 17, addressing reporters at the state secretariat after taking charge as new chief minister, said, “After taking oath, I have cleared the first file related to writing off loans up to Rs two lakh.”
After Nath signed the relevant file, Rajesh Rajora, Principal Secretary, Farmers’ Welfare and Agriculture Development Department, issued an order in this regard. “The Madhya Pradesh government has taken a decision to write off short-term crop loan of eligible farmers up to the limit of Rs two lakh, as on March 31, 2018, from nationalised and cooperative banks,” the order stated.
“An estimated 34 lakh farmers will benefit from the loan waiver whose size he pegged between Rs 35,000 crore to Rs 38,000 crore,” Rajora had said. Income tax payers and government employees are not eligible for loan waiver, he added.
(Inputs from PTI)