Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria claimed today that no farmer had committed suicide in the state due to debt between 2009 and 2017, and said that only three peasants killed themselves in 2015.
On the allegations of the Congress that 91 farmers committed suicide due to debt burden in the state under the BJP rule, the minister said, "As per police records, no farmer in the state committed suicide due to debt under the Congress rule during 2009-2013. Only three suicides occurred in 2015 during the BJP rule.
At a press conference here, he said that a case of suicide due to debt can be established through suicide note and after police investigation. All deaths cannot be linked to debt-related suicides.
He said that instead of levelling baseless allegations, the Congress should put down the record of welfare schemes or special package for farmers that can be quoted as an example.
Records of BJP and Congress should be compared. The BJP governments in the state and at the Centre have provided interest-free loans, waived loans of farmers, procured farmers produce for farmers' welfare, which Congress had never done during its rule, he said.
Replying to a question on NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant's comments that Rajasthan was one of the states keeping the country backward, Kataria conceded that the state was lagging behind other states in sectors such as education and health although the state had made considerable progress in last few years.
On the delay in reaching a consensus on the new BJP state president's name, the home minister said that there were several eligible leaders.
I cannot comment who is eligible. There are several eligible leaders, but whosoever will be appointed we will put all our strength in his support, he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)