Kerala CM Replies to Rahul’s Plea for Inquiry Into Farmer Suicide 

Rahul had also requested extension of financial aid to the family of the farmer.

2 min read

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has replied to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s letter, dated 28 May, which requested an investigation into the death of a Wayanad farmer who had killed himself allegedly due to mounting loan debt. Rahul had also requested extension of financial aid to the family of the farmer.

In his reply, dated 31 May, the Chief Minister wrote that he had initiated proceedings.

“I have asked the District Collector, Wayanad to Conduct a detailed inquiry into the suicide of V D Dinesh Kumar and sumbit a report to the Government at the earliest for taking further action including any financial assistance.”
Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala CM, in a letter to Rahul Gandhi

Asian News International put out a copy of the letter on Twitter:

The letter acknowledges his receipt of Gandhi’s request. It states that Kerala is taking “continuing efforts” to help farmers and has announced a moratorium (postponement of payment) on the repayment of farmers’ loans till the end of 2019.

The second last and largest paragraph of the letter addresses the problem of farmer distress as a whole. It says that commercial banks and informal lenders charge usurious interest and that the Government of India has the responsibility of addressing outstanding farmers’ debt as loans from commercial banks come under the SARFAESI Act. which was framed to address the problem of Non-Performing Assets, including bad loans.

“This issue needs to be raised in the Parliament and I hope that you will join us in taking up the issue of relief for the debt afflicted families in Kerala as well as in other parts of the country.”
Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala CM, in a letter to Rahul Gandhi

The Farmer Couldn’t Repay a Rs 10 Lakh Loan

VD Dinesh Kumar, 53, killed himself by consuming some poisonous substance, police said on 25 May. He was a farmer from Wayanad, the constituency from which Rahul Gandhi was elected MP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Kumar had taken a loan of Rs 10 lakh from three banks and was having trouble with repayment, for which he was reportedly facing recovery proceedings, according to PTI.

Gandhi, in his letter had assured his support and cooperation in finding “concrete long-term solutions” to the problems that Kerala farmers are faced with.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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