26 November, 2020

Till Debt Do Us Apart

Fifty farmers have committed suicide in the last two weeks. Is new CM YSR up to handling the situation?

Till Debt Do Us Apart
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
On the face of it, it seems to defy all logic. Despite a host of pro-agriculture incentives from a Congress government elected explicitly for its socialistic policy line, farmer suicides continue to mount by the day in Andhra Pradesh. In a macabre dance of death, fifty debt-ridden farmers have committed suicide across the state in the two weeks since chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy took office.

Keen to project himself as a CM with a heart rather than as a CEO of AP Inc, as was the wont of his predecessor Chandrababu Naidu, Reddy's first official act was to sign free power to farmers and write off all their old arrears. He also announced various sops for farmers in addition to a generous relief package for the 3,000-odd families of farmers who committed suicide since July 1998. However, preventing fresh suicides is becoming a key challenge for Reddy now.

Strangely enough, the suicides are being reported from virtually all districts of the state. There have been deaths even in the Krishna Delta, which saw water shortage for the first time this year. Earlier,...
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