A week ahead of his visit to Wayanad in Kerala, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday requested Chief MInister Pinarayi Vijayan to provide financial assistance to the family of a farmer who committed suicide allegedly due to non-repayment of loans.
The Congress chief, who won from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, also asked the state government to conduct an inquiry into the incident.
In his letter to Vijayan dated May 28, Gandhi said, “I am deeply saddended by the suicide of V.D. Dinesh Kumar, a farmer in Neervaram, Panamaran panchayat ibn Wayanad.”
The Congress leader said that after speaking to Kumar’s wife, “I learnt that her husband had been under severe stress due to his inability to repay the loans he had taken and this pushed him to commit suicide”.
According to Kerala Police, Kumar died after consuming some poisonous substance.
“Kumar’s case isn’t an isolated one. There have been a spate of farmer suicides in Wayanad,” Gandhi said.” What is disturbing is that while the government of Kerala has announced a moratorium on repayment of farm loans till December 31, 2019, yet farmers are still being pressured and hounded by loan collection agents,” the letter said.
The Congress leader in his letter said that he was “writing to request him to order an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death and to extend financial support to his family”.
The Congress chief said it was important to consider “long-term measures” to free farmers from the “vicious debt trap” given the devastating impact of the last year’s floods.
“I offer you my fullest support and cooperation in finding concrete long-term solutions to the critical issues Kerala’s farmers are faced with and in ensuring every farmer in Kerala lives a life of dignity,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi, who contested on two seats in this election won from Wayanad with a record margin of 431,770 votes. The Congress chief defeated his rival P.P. Suneer of the Communist Party of India who secured 274,597 votes. Rahul Gandhi received 706,367 votes.
Gandhi will visit Wayanad on June 7 and 8 to thank the voters.