Political slugfest over farmer's suicide escalates

New Delhi, Apr 23: Escalating the blame game over Wednesday's suicide by a farmer at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's rally, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday slammed AAP supporters for "clapping and raising slogans" as the man inched closer to death, while the latter hit back, saying he was "lying".

The Congress, which has mounted a major offensive on the BJP-led NDA government over the land acquisition ordinance, demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.

Gajendra Singh

"The crowd was clapping. Police requested them to stop raising slogans. Generally, such people (who try to end their lives) are engaged in talks to turn their mind but here the crowd kept clapping and raising slogans," Singh said, responding to an impromptu debate on the matter in Lok Sabha.

Farmer's suicide at AAP rally: When Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was slammed for 'politicising' issue

The Minister also defended Delhi police, facing the accusation of doing nothing to prevent the shocking incident, saying it took prompt steps to tackle the situation by calling the police control room and seeking help from the fire brigade to bring Gajendra Singh down from the tree he had perched himself on.

41-year-old Singh, a distressed farmer from a village in Dausa in Rajasthan, had ended his life by hanging himself from a tree at a rally by AAP to protest the land ordinance.

In a note scribbled by him that he dropped from his precarious perch, Singh had said he was thrown out of his home by his father after crop loss.

In the line of fire for showing "utter sensitivity" with its top leaders going ahead with their speeches even after the man had died, AAP alleged that Singh was "lying". "Home Minister is lying and giving misleading statements.

It is the Union government's ploy to target AAP using the Delhi Police. Media recorded the incident as it happened and should put out the tapes in public to establish the truth," party spokesperson Sanjay Singh said.

"You must have seen that we were requesting the police to rescue him. Please show the truth as to whether we have incited anyone. At least tell the truth on the floor of the house," senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas said.

The leaders, however, parried questions about news reports that the farmer was invited to the rally by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, sought a judicial probe to fix accountability, saying Delhi police, which was in the dock over the incident, cannot probe itself.


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