Thiruvananthapuram: In a first as Wayanad MP, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to reach assistance to the family of a farmer, who committed suicide allegedly due to non-repayment of loans, and order an inquiry.
Mr V.D. Dinesh Kumar, 53, died after consuming some poisonous substance, police said on May 25. His relatives said that financial burden had forced him to take the extreme step.
Mr Gandhi, in his letter of May 28, said he was “deeply saddened” by the farmer's suicide. He requested the state government to conduct an inquiry and extend financial support to the family.
Police said that Kumar had taken a loan of Rs 10 lakh from three banks and was reportedly facing recovery proceedings. "Kumar's case isn't an isolated one. There have been a spate of farmer suicides in Wayanad, due to an inability to repay loans," Mr Gandhi had said in his letter.
"What is disturbing is that while the government of Kerala has announced a moratorium on repayment of farm loans till December 31, farmers are still being pressured and hounded by loan collection agents," the letter said.
He said it was important to consider "long-term measures" to free farmers from the "vicious debt trap" given the devastating impact of the last year's floods. "I offer you my fullest support and cooperation in finding concrete long-term solutions to the critical issues Kerala's farmers are faced with and in ensuring every farmer in Kerala lives a life of dignity," Mr Gandhi said....