"Bhoot, pret, upari saya" (apparitions), not crop loss, were forcing farmers to take the extreme step, said Singh while replying to a question on farmer suicides at Sehore district in the Assembly on Wednesday.
Congress MLA Shailendra Patel who raised the question was
shocked to hear this from minister.
His remarks resulted into uproar in the assembly. Congress has sought clarification on whether the government believed in superstition.
"In some rural pockets, a ritual prevails wherein people are freed of influence of spirits," Singh said, clarifying his remarks.
Some of the 418 farmers committed suicide in Sehore district in the last three years. Sehore is the home district of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, reported the Times of India.