New Delhi: Facing criticism over Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh's remark that farmers were committing suicide over love affairs, dowry and impotence apart from financial crisis, the BJP on Saturday said the number of such suicides have come down during the Narendra Modi government's rule due to its "pro-farmer" measures.
"Facts have been distorted in some media reports, which is totally unfair. In fact, suicides of farmers fell down by half in the initial year of the NDA rule, which was not reported properly," the BJP said in a statement.
"According to National Crime Records Bureau data, 11,772 farmers committed suicide in 2013. Due to positive steps taken by the Modi government, the numbers came down to 5,650 in 2014," the statement added.
Dowry, love affairs and impotency were among the reasons for the deaths of over 1,400 farmers in 2014, Radha Mohan Singh told parliament on Friday.
"According to the NCRB, causes of (farmers') suicides include family problems, illness, drugs, dowry, love affairs and impotency," he said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha to a question on what caused the death of so many farmers in the country.
The minister's reply, however, did not rule out debt as one of the reasons.
The reply triggered a storm with opposition parties accusing the government of "insensitivity".