New Delhi, Apr 30: Opposition Congress today attacked a Haryana Minister for reportedly calling farmers committing suicide "cowards" and sought to know what action the Prime Minister proposed to take.
"This is a serious issue...a Haryana government minister called farmers committing suicides cowards and criminals... Suicides are not just happening in Haryana but all over the country," Anand Sharma (Cong) said during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha as his submission was opposed by the treasury benches.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said, "we have no jurisdiction on state governments. I cannot go further on this."
Naresh Agarwal (SP) then raised the issue of government announcing hike in import duty on sugar and other measures to help distressed farmers, outside the House yesterday.
He said the agrarian crisis was discussed for three days in the House and the government did not indicate any steps in the reply to the discussion.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the debate on agrarian crisis was to solicit government's response on the steps being taken, but subsequent to the reply on the issue, the government announced the decisions outside the House which amounted to breach of privilege.
Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the decisions to raise import duty on sugar from 25 per cent to 40 per cent, scrap excise duty on ethanol made from sugarcane and abolish value cut was taken by the Union Cabinet yesterday morning to help farmers in distress.