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Farmer suicide: Telangana farmer climbs phone tower, threatens to jump

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Hyderabad: Highlighting the desperation of debt ridden farmers in Telangana, a debt-hit farmer climbed a cell phone tower in front of the Telangana assembly here and threatened to jump down even as the legislature discussed the issue of farmers’ suicides.

The farmer from Warangal district climbed the cell phone tower across the road from the assembly building in the heart of city, causing a flutter in the high security zone.

Senior police officials rushed to the scene and tried to persuade him to get down.

Samaiah, the farmer, contacted some television channels and told them that he would jump to death as he was running into huge debts due to crop failure. He also carried a bottle of pesticide with him.

A few minutes before the assembly adjourned for the day after a heated debate on the issue of farmers’ suicides, Samaiah took everyone by surprise by climbing up the cell phone tower around 1:30 PM.

Two farmers have ended their lives in Hyderabad this month, bringing into focus the plight of farming community in Telangana, the state with second highest farmer suicide deaths after Maharashtra.

Mallesh, a 58-year-old farmer from Medak district, had committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree at Balamrai in Begumpet on September 20.

Earlier on September 9, B. Limbiah, 47, of Nizamabad district hanged himself from a pole in Lower Tank Bund area. His son was admitted to a private hospital in Hyderabad and he had no money to pay for his treatment.

Meanwhile, suicides continued unabated in the newly created state with three more farmers ending their lives on Tuesday in Ranga Reddy district, near here. They included a couple. All the three consumed pesticides in their fields due to mounting debts and crop failure because of poor rainfall this monsoon.

The state government has put at 430 the number of farmers who committed suicides since June 2014, when the new state came into existence.

The opposition parties, however, claim that 1,400 farmers ended their lives during the period.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 898 farmers committed suicides in Telangana during 2014. It was the second highest number in the country after Maharashtra, which reported 2,568 farmer suicide deaths.

Here is the video (courtesy: 10TV):

 

(With inputs from IANS)

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Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi Among Top Names To Start Telangana Campaign

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India, elections, vietnam, BJP
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India. VOA

Top Congress and BJP leaders, Narendra Modi and Rahul gandhi are all set to plunge into the electioneering in Telangana for the next month’s Assembly polls even as the ruling TRS has had a head start.

With the deadline for withdrawal of nominations coming to an end on Thursday, all major contenders were finalising their schedules for their star campaigners.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu, several central ministers and top leaders of the two national parties were set to hit the campaign trail.

Sonia Gandhi will be addressing an election meeting at Medchal on the outskirts here on November 23. The meet was expected to give a headstart to the party’s campaign as it heads a four-party ‘Mahakutami’ or grand alliance ahead of the single phase December 7 polls.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will share the stage with his mother on Friday at the meet.

As this is Sonia Gandhi’s first visit to Telangana after the formation of the state, the party leaders were holding it as a thanksgiving event in her honour for carving out the state.

Rahul Gandhi will again visit Telangana on November 28 and 29 and later on December 3 to address a series of rallies in different parts of the state.

"He can throw up a serious challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019," the Sena cautioned in an editorial in the party mouthpieces "Saamana" and "Dopahar Ka Saamana".
Rahul Gandhi, Wikipedia

Modi was expected to give boost to the Bharatiya Janata Party campaign by addressing a few rallies on November 27 and December 3. State BJP leaders say Modi may participate in the campaign in four districts, including here, covering the constituencies where the party is considered strong.

BJP chief Amit Shah, who addressed a couple of public meetings during September and October, plans to visit Telangana for three days soon to address 12 rallies.

Party’s Telangana unit president K. Laxman said Amit Shah will address the meetings on November 25, 27 and 28.

BJP is contesting all 119 seats on its own. Several union ministers are also likely to campaign for the party candidates. Health Minister J.P. Nadda and party general secretary Ram Madhav have already addressed a few meetings.

In his first-ever election in alliance with Congress party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is likely to address a few rallies. Party leaders say he may share the dais with Rahul Gandhi.

TDP, a constituent of ‘Mahakutami’ is contesting on 14 seats. Popular actor and TDP MLA N. Balakrishna may also address a few meetings, especially in Kukatpally constituency here, where his niece N. Suhasini is a candidate.

Suhasini is the granddaughter of TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao. Her actor brothers Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram are also likely to campaign for her.

Congress hires foreign agencies
Modi, Rahul among top names to start Telangana campaign.

Meanwhile, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is racing ahead in the campaign with party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao addressing series of rallies. He is criss-crossing the state in a helicopter, seeking fresh mandate.

KCR, who had already addressed few meetings after dissolving the state assembly in September, plans to address 90 meetings in 15 days.

KCR’s son K.T. Rama Rao is another key campaigner for the party. He has hit campaign trail here and in surrounding districts, focusing on constituencies with sizeable number of voters who have their roots in Andhra Pradesh.

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Besides, KCR’s daughter and party MP K. Kavitha and nephew Harish Rao were the other key campaigners for the party.

The campaign of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) is being led by its president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. He is addressing public meetings and conducting foot march for his party’s candidates in the eight constituencies here. (IANS)