‘BJP’s double-engine misgovernance’: Cong targets Centre, Gujarat govt over state’s suicide data


PTI, Mar 1, 2024, 7:17 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday targeted the governments at the Centre and in Gujarat over ”high suicide rate” in the BJP-ruled state and alleged they have failed to fulfil their promises of creating new job opportunities for youths.

He also said the prime minister’s ”silence on this grave human tragedy in his home state is deafening”. He urged the Gujarat government to prioritise the wellbeing and safety of citizens and take action to address the problem that has cast a dark shadow over the state.

”It is with grave concern and profound disappointment that I address the distressing revelation brought to light by the Gujarat government regarding the shockingly high suicide rates,” he said in a statement. The Congress chief said the latest data presented in the state assembly underscores a harrowing reality that under the rule of the BJP government, more than 25,000 lives have been lost to suicide over the past three financial years, with nearly 500 of them being students.

He said the statistics paint a grim picture of a populace grappling with despair, hopelessness, and unaddressed grievances. In a state that boasts of progress and prosperity, it is unconscionable that so many citizens have felt compelled to take their own lives, Kharge said.

”This is another example of the BJP’s double-engine misgovernance that has already inflicted several anyays (injustice) on the country. Its state and central government have failed to fulfil their promises of releasing and filling job vacancies and creating new job opportunities,” he said.

”The prime pinister’s silence on this grave human tragedy in his home state is deafening,” the Congress president said.

He said Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel’s acknowledgement of this crisis is ”while condemnable, falls short of addressing the fundamental failures of governance” and the dire need for concrete action to stem the tide of preventable tragedies.

”It is abundantly clear that the current administration has failed in its duty to safeguard the wellbeing of our citizens and address the root causes behind the escalating suicide rates,” he said.

Kharge also said that the fact that the maximum number of cases emanate from cities like Ahmedabad (3,280), Surat (2,862), and Rajkot (1,287) is a ”damning indictment” of the government’s inability to provide adequate support and resources to the vulnerable.

”I call upon the Gujarat government to prioritise the well-being and safety of its citizens above all else, and to take immediate and decisive action to address the escalating suicide rates that have cast a dark shadow over our state,” the Congress president said.

The Gujarat government earlier this week informed the legislative assembly that more than 25,000 people, nearly 500 of them students, have ended their lives due to various reasons in the state during the last three financial years.

According to the data shared by the state government on the floor of the House, as many as 25,478 people have committed suicide in different parts of Gujarat during the last three years and of these, 495 were students.

In reply to a question by Imran Khedawala (Congress), Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who also hold the home portfolio, said in a written response that 8,307 people ended their lives in financial year 2020-21, 8,614 in FY 2021-22 and 8,557 committed suicide in FY 2022-23.

Among these, the maximum number of suicides was reported in the Ahmedabad city (3,280), followed by 2,862 in Surat city and 1,287 in Rajkot city.

Some of the reasons for the suicides, as cited by the government, included mental health matters, love issues, serious illness, family problems, financial crisis and a fear of failure in exams.

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