New Delhi, April 23: Describing the suicide by a farmer here as "shameful", Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that the government and the opposition must introspect why the condition of farmers had not improved even so many years after independence.
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, the minister said it was unfortunate that successive popular governments had failed to improve the conditions of villages and farmers across the country.
Singh made the statement amid outrage in the house over the suicide on Wednesday by a farmer from Rajasthan, Gajendra Singh, who hanged himself from a tree at an AAP rally called to denounce the land ordinance.
"I agree (the issue must not be politicised)," he said, adding that the farmer's death was "shameful". "We all have to think over these issues, why the condition of the villages and farmers was not improving."
Singh: Why the condition of the villages and farmers was not improving
Reading out official data, he said that in 1950-51, farmers contributed 55 percent of India's total GDP. This had fallen to 14 percent although 58 percent of the population was still involved in agriculture.
Sixty percent of the population was covered by food security programmes, revealing how bad the condition of the people was in villages, he said.
The home minister said investigation into the suicide had been handed over to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police which had been told to submit its report at the earliest. Delhi Police reports to the union home ministry.