Kolkata: Expressing concern over the recent cases of farmers' suicide in the state, West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan has countered the claim of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is denying the information of suicidal incidents.

“Such incidents are unfortunately taking place in West Bengal. Many of them I suppose were deeply in debt. We have to find a way to ensure that this does not happen,” he said.

Narayanan on the sidelines of an event to mark the 115th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose said, “The incident of farmers’ suicide is matter of great concern for both the state and the Centre. You have to ask Jairam Ramesh what can be done about this because he is in-charge of rural programmes.”

Referring to infants deaths in the state government hospitals, he said, “There was no belittling of the issue. I know the state government is deeply concerned and the Chief Minister is personally looking into it.”   

Meanwhile, at a time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to set up a farmer base in the state, Narayanan’s statement may create trouble for the CM.

Mamata recently had said that the people who had committed suicide were not farmers. The Chief Minister acknowledging only a single farmer death said, “People who have run into debt for the past four to five years and ended their life are being branded as farmers. This is a conspiracy," Mamata said at the inauguration of Subhas Mela at Kankurgachi.  

The CM said, "Not a single farmer has died due to falling prices. The deaths of 12 persons were due to their personal debts running into crores."

Mamata also tried to draw her defence from the farmer deaths during the Left Front rule, claiming that 189 farmers had committed suicide during the 35 years of Left front rule in the state.

(JPN/ Bureau)