New Delhi: Congress leader Meem Afzal on Friday criticized Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh for his remark that the suicide of farmer was partly due to `failed love affairs` and said that the farming community would soon give a befitting reply to the ruling dispensation at the Centre.
"The Agricultural Minister, who is supposed to relieve the plight of the farmers and solve their problems, if he says that farmers` suicides are caused by failed love affairs and impotency, then this is extremely shameful," Afzal told.
"I can`t understand what this government is doing. This is the same government, which has brought a bill to snatch the lands from the farmers, to loot everything from them and give that away to rich people. On the other hand, there are these innocent farmers, who are committing suicides because of their bank debts, spoilt crops and lack of money," he added.
The Congress leader said it was extremely shameful on the part of the ruling dispensation to make such excuses instead of taking steps to solve the plight of the farmers.
"They shouldn't apologize; in fact they should resign on moral grounds for acting like this. What do they think of the farmers? This government is preparing for its death, I think. If they keep acting like this, farmers will soon give them a strong reply," he added.
Singh had earlier said that love affairs or impotency was the cause of death of more than 1,400 farmers in India this year.
"According to the National Crime Records Bureau, causes of (farmer) suicides include family problems, illness, drugs... dowry, love affairs and impotency," he said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
The Agriculture Minister, however, did not rule out debt as one of the reasons.