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Farmer suicides despite Modi’s chai pe charcha assurance: NCP

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared stage with NCP chief Sharad Pawar, the NCP attacked him over the suicide of a farmer in Vidarbha region, saying he was forced to kill himself as he did not get any relief from his debts despite Modi’s promise at a pre-poll ‘Chai pe Charcha (talks over tea)’ session.

“Farmers who participated in ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ with Modi, ahead of Lok Sabha elections last year, are committing suicides,” Jayant Patil, NCP group leader in Maharashtra Assembly, said referring to the suicide committed by Vithal Rathod (45), who hailed from Dabhadi village in Yavatmal, on February 24.

Rathod, who was part of the farmers’ groups that interacted with Modi in March 2014, killed himself apparently due to indebtedness.

“On March 20 last year, Modi held a ‘chai pe charcha’ at Dabhadi village in Yavatmal district of Vidarbha. He assured farmers that if they elect him, he will solve all their problems. It’s nine months since he (Modi) came to power. Farmers waited for a long time, but with no relief coming, Rathod committed suicide,” he said.

He said the suicide of Rathod “due to burden of loan” is a serious incident.

“It is the biggest failure in the country that the assurance given by its top leader cannot give confidence to farmers,” Patil said.

Modi, who had termed NCP as a “naturally corrupt party” during campaigning for Lok Sabha polls, had shared dais with Pawar last month during a function held in the latter’s home turf of Baramati in Pune district.

NCP had offered its outside support to BJP as the results of Assembly elections in Maharashtra last year showed the saffron surge, sparking speculations of a political alignment against the backdrop of BJP’s bitter break-up with its oldest ally Shiv Sena.

Sena is now alliance partner in the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in Maharashtra.

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