Friday, May 25, 2007

Suicide-affected Vidarbha farmers protest Maharashtra CM's birthday bash

Suicide-affected Vidarbha farmers protest Maharashtra CM's birthday bash

By Pervez Bari,

Bhopal, May 25: Massive celebrations are being organized today in farmers' suicide-affected Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra on the occasion of birthday of the state's Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh while reports of more farmers' suicides are being published in all the leading national newspapers.

Farmers in large scale in Latur, the hometown of the Maharashtra Chief Minister, along with the Vidarbha region farmers are protesting the ongoing Chief Minister birthday celebrations and police force is being used to curb these protests, a Press release of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS), issued from Nagpur today said.

VJAS president Kishor Tiwari has urged the All India Congress Committee president Mrs. Sonia Gandhi to sack the Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh due to his failure to solve the agrarian crisis in the state.

Tiwari, a local farm activist, informed that Vidarbha region is in the grip of agrarian crisis and more than 3500 farmers have committed suicides since 2004. But, recently sugarcane growers in the Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh's region Marathwada have committed suicides due to agrarian crisis and recession in sugar that has lowered down the demand of sugarcane and farmers are being forced to burn the standing sugarcane crops. The condition of sugarcane growers has been
too bad to explain, Tiwari stated.

He said that the farm suicides had been a serious issue and Indian Prime Minister himself visited the Vidarbha region last year in July. He had then provided Rs. 37,500 million relief package but it failed to slow down farm suicides in West Vidarbha and now farmers' suicides is spreading in other parts of Maharashtra too, Tiwari added. (

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