Buldhana: In a huge embarrassment for Maharashtra's ruling BJP, a distressed farmer sporting a a party poll campaign T-shirt hanged himself on a tree in the state's Buldhana district early on Sunday.
The body of the farmer, identified as 38-year old Raju Talware, was found hanging from a tree branch at his Khatkhed village in the district, around 8.30am.
He was sporting a Bharatiya Janata Party colourful T-shirt with a symbol of the 'Lotus' and the campaign slogan "Punha Aanuya Aaple Sarkar" (Let's Re-elect Our Government) distributed by the party to activists ahead of the October 21 assembly elections.
The development came on a critical day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a poll rally in the Vidarbha, BJP President Amit Shah was on a poll tour of Western Maharashtra, and the Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Marathwada and Mumbai.
Incidentally, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hails from Nagpur in the Vidarbha region.
Shiv Sena farmers' leader Kishore Tiwari warned that the development was "extremely grave" and urged all parties to take serious note of the stress plaguing the state's farmlands.
"Such symbolic suicides point to a very deep-rooted catastrophe confronting the peasantry. Unless concrete measures are taken by the next government that comes to power, it will go out of hand," Tiwari told IANS.
According to police, Talware had run into huge farm debts which he could not clear, which may have prompted him to take the extreme step.
On Saturday, Fadnavis had targeted the Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, blaming the agrarian crises and farmers' suicides on "the sins of the erstwhile Congress-NCP government".