Modi woos farm­ers, BJP MP mocks them

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

SE­HORE/MUM­BAI: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Thurs­day wooed ru­ral In­dia with a crop in­sur­ance scheme de­signed to pro­tect 700 mil­lion farm­ers from nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, an ini­tia­tive that may help fend off crit­i­cism that his govern­ment is anti-farmer.

But the ad­van­tage was lost as Maharashtra’s BJP par­lia­men­tar­ian Gopal Shetty al­legedly called farmer sui­cides a “fash­ion” and a “trend”, spark­ing out­rage as the state is strug­gling with drought for the third con­sec­u­tive year.

Modi’s NDA govern­ment has been fac­ing wide­spread crit­i­cism of ig­nor­ing ru­ral In­dia as farm­ers, grap­pling with un­sea­sonal rains, hail­storms, drought and debt, were driven to sui­cide. Maharashtra alone has re­ported 124 farm sui­cides since Jan­uary.

CON­TIN­UED ON P8

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