New Delhi: The government on Monday favoured
setting up of a joint parliamentary panel to go into the issue
of farmers` suicide in the wake of contradictory figures
emerging from states and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
"Let us appoint a House Committee with members from both
the Houses that can go to the states to look into the issue
(farmers` suicide)," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said in
the Rajya Sabha, winding up a debate on agrarian crisis and
suicides by farmers.
The entire Opposition, including the BJP, BSP, AIADMK, TDP
and the Left, supported the proposal.
Pawar said setting up of a JPC was necessary in the wake
of conflicting figures of suicides by the NCRB and the states,
16 of which have reported that there has been no such cases.
"The NCRB has reported 15,900 such cases whereas the
state governments have reported only 800 of these," he said.
Welcoming the proposal, Sitaram Yechuri (CPI-M) said, "The
whole House agrees that a Committee is needed to investigate
and find out ...unless and until we go into depth, visit to
families it is not possible."
Earlier, participating in the debate a united Opposition
demanded in the Upper House that ministers connected with the
farm sector should be present in the House during Pawar`s
reply as he has "no power" and is "crippled" in taking
The House had to be adjourned twice during the Zero Hour
on the demand. Later, during the reply at 2 pm, Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and
Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde were present in the House.