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Drought in Gujarat has started taking its toll on farmers. As many as 11 farmers in Saurashtra region alone have committed suicide in last one month, even as the Narendra Modi government remains in denial. “In seven districts of the region, almost 80% crop has failed. Very few farmers have irrigation facilities to sustain crops without rains. Narmada canals have not been built in the interiors,” said Ramnikbhai Patel, a farmer from Babra in Amreli district. He says, the cotton crop in his 15 acre farm dried, which pushed him to cultivate jowar for fodder.
Gujarat BJP president RC Faldu does not agree. “I don’t think farmers are committing suicide because of the state government’s action or lack of it,” he said. Agriculture minister Dilip Sanghani Sanghani echoes similar sentiments. Meanwhile, junior home minister Praful Patel has reportedly instructed the police not to mention “crop failure as the reason for farmer suicides.”