1,555 farmer suicides, drought looms large, is govt aware: Wadettiwar


Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar, brought to light the grim reality of the agrarian crisis in the state. Wadettiwar expressed his concerns regarding the worsening situation, which has led to a shocking 1,555 farmer suicides recorded until July 31st of this year. Amidst these harrowing statistics, he questioned whether the government truly comprehended the gravity of the situation.
The situation in the state has been exacerbated by the looming threat of drought, with 13 districts witnessing below-average rainfall over the past month and a half. Wadettiwar, a prominent figure in the Congress party, asserted that numerous reports have linked the surge in farmer suicides to the drought-like conditions and alleged indifference displayed by the Eknath Shinde government.
Speaking to X News, Wadettiwar disclosed that the Amravati division had the highest incidence of farmer suicides, with a staggering 637 reported in the first seven months of the year. Breakdowns of the data revealed that Amravati district alone witnessed 183 farmer suicides from January to July 31, with 173 in Buldhana, 149 in Yavatmal, 94 in Akola, and 38 in Washim during the same period. Wadettiwar lamented that the Aurangabad division has also been severely affected, accounting for 584 farmer suicides. Nashik division reported 174 such tragic deaths, while Nagpur and Pune divisions documented 144 and 16 farmer suicides, respectively. In contrast, there were no reported farmer suicides in the Konkan division and the districts of Pune and Kolhapur.
The opposition leader provided a chronological overview of the grim situation, emphasizing that June saw the highest number of farmer suicides, totaling 233. The numbers remained alarmingly high in other months as well, with 226 in both January and March, 192 in February, 225 in April, 224 in May, and 229 in July.
Desperation and frustration were palpable in Wadettiwar’s voice as he questioned, “Farmers are dying every day. When will the government declare a drought?”
Additionally, Wadettiwar highlighted that 13 districts had received below-average rainfall in the last month and a half, illustrating the depth of the crisis. He accused the government of mere lip service, claiming, “How are we concerned? We just need to give assurances and walk away. This is the agenda of this government.” The opposition leader further supported his claims by presenting rainfall data, indicating that several districts had received scanty showers during the current monsoon season. For instance, Sangli had experienced a staggering 45% less rainfall than the average, with Nanded at 19% below average, Solapur at 35% below, Satara at 40% below, and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar (formerly Aurangabad) at 27% less. Other districts included Jalna (43% less), Beed (43% less), Dharashiv (formerly Osmanabad) at 32% below, Parbhani at 31% less, Amravati at 30% less, Washim at 22% less, and Akola at 29% less.
As the distressing figures continue to mount, it remains a pressing concern whether the government will take swift and meaningful action to alleviate the plight of farmers and address the impending drought crisis in Maharashtra.