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Cong demands judicial commission to probe farmer suicides

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, Oct 23 (UNI) Alleging large-scale hunger deaths and farmer suicides in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress today demanded formation of a judicial commission to probe its charges.

The party claimed the worst-effected area had been the Bundelkhand region where several farmers have either died of starvation or committed suicide. ''In the past two years, over 1,000 people died either due to hunger or killing themselves,'' Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Pramod Tiwari said here.

He also listed at least eight cases of suicide in the Bundelkhand region between November 2005 and October 16, 2006.

''While the Mulayam Singh Yadav government has failed to implement the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to help farmers get alternative means of employment, the public distribution system has collapsed at the hands of middlemen.'' Tiwari maintained out of a total of Rs 500 crore, the Centre had provided UP for NREGS, the state government could utilise only Rs 90 crore. ''This is a gross criminal act...farmers are dying and the government is not utilising resources at its disposal to protect their lives,'' he lamented.

He alleged the district administrations were distributing cheques of Rs three, Rs seven and Rs nine to farmers as drought compensation and termed the exercise as a ''big joke.'' The CLP leader alleged middlemen were having a field day as ration and kerosene meant for the poor was being sold in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and even Bangladesh.

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