As many as 141 farmers have committed suicide in Chhattisgarh in the last 10 months, the state government informed the legislative Assembly on Friday.
The issue of farmer suicides rocked the Assembly, with the opposition BJP demanding a probe into these cases and seeking compensation for the kin of deceased farmers.
The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik during the Question Hour, when he sought to know how many farmers had committed suicide between April 2020 and February 1, 2021 in the state and the reasons for these deaths.
He also enquired about the action taken in these cases and compensation given to families of the victims.
In response, state Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey said 141 farmers had committed suicide during the period.
In one such case in Kondagaon district, a lower-level revenue officer was suspended for allegedly making a mistake in crop girdawari and (land) record documentation, Mr Choubey said.
Hitting out at the government, Kaushik said an investigation should be conducted in all such cases of suicides and compensation should be given to kin of the deceased farmers after probe.
To this, the minister said this was not a matter of politics, but unfortunately, the BJP was trying to politicise farmer suicides.
Suicides had taken place earlier (during the BJP rule) as well, but did they consider giving compensation at the time, Mr Choubey said.
Congress MLAs then pointed out incidents of farmer suicides during the previous government's rule and claimed that no compensation was given to the kin of deceased farmers.
This led to a pandemonium in the House, and BJP MLAs staged a walkout from the Assembly, expressing dissatisfaction over the government's reply.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)