Chandigarh: Farmers' unions on Saturday slammed Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh over his remark on the reasons of farmers committing suicides in the country and asked him to withdraw his observations immediately.
The two offshoots of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) in Punjab, BKU-Ekta and BKU-Ugrahan, lambasted the Union minister for sparking a controversy by reasoning that love affairs, dowry and impotency were among the reason for farmers suicides in the country.
President of BKU-Ekta, Sukhdev Singh Kokhri and general secretary of BKU-Ugrahan, Joginder Singh ridiculed the minister's observation and said he was "misleading" the country.
"It is absolutely wrong (the observation)...In Punjab none of the farmers have committed suicide due to love affairs, impotency and dowry," the farmers' leaders said.
They claimed 40,000 farmers have committed suicide in Punjab due to debt burden during 1991 to 2006, following non- payment of remunerative prices of their produce and increase in prices of agriculture inputs.
Another 20,000 farmers committed suicide in the state from 2006 till June 2015, they said.
The farmers leaders demanded withdrawal of observation by the minister immediately.
"If the union minister did not withdraw what he observed then the farmers would be forced to resort to agitation," the farmers leaders said.
"The union minister wanted to defame the farmers... It is unfortunate that the Centre never cared to provide remunerative price of their produce despite repeated requests and representation by the farmers," they said.