Farm Distress Influenced Elections In MP, Rajasthan And Chhattisgarh, But Not In Telangana

Mumbai: Widespread farm distress--which brought more than 100,000 farmers to New Delhi in November 2018--appears to have affected the elections to the legislative assemblies of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

As of 5.30 pm on December 11, 2018, the Indian National Congress (Congress) is set to form state governments in all three states, defeating the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and many opposition leaders from across the country lent support to the Kisan Mukti March on November 30, 2018, which demanded that parliament hold a special 21-day session to address the agrarian crisis.

Between 2004 and 2016, Madhya Pradesh recorded 16,932 farmer suicides--more than three every day, and the fourth highest number nationwide--according to this FactChecker.in analysis dated October 22, 2018. Chhattisgarh followed with 12,979 suicides--nearly three everyday, and the fifth highest nationwide. Rajasthan ranked the 11th highest with 5,582 suicides during the same period.

India grew more foodgrain in 2017 than ever before, and the government’s agriculture budget rose 111% over four years to 2017-18, as IndiaSpend reported in January 2018. Yet prices crashed, unpaid agricultural loans grew 20% over the year to 2017, and 600 million Indians who depend on farming struggled to get by.

However, farm distress did not prevent the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) from sweeping the polls and returning to power in the youngest Indian state, 55.5% of whose population earns a living from farming. Tenancy is on the rise in Telangana as small farmers seek to cultivate more land to make farming viable, IndiaSpend reported on December 6, 2018. Without titles, however, they cannot access bank loans and benefit schemes, and are pushed into the hands of usurious moneylenders, our ground investigation found.

We curated a list from the IndiaSpend archives on the stress roiling rural India:

We welcome feedback. Please write to respond@indiaspend.org. We reserve the right to edit responses for language and grammar.

Mumbai: Widespread farm distress--which brought more than 100,000 farmers to New Delhi in November 2018--appears to have affected the elections to the legislative assemblies of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

As of 5.30 pm on December 11, 2018, the Indian National Congress (Congress) is set to form state governments in all three states, defeating the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and many opposition leaders from across the country lent support to the Kisan Mukti March on November 30, 2018, which demanded that parliament hold a special 21-day session to address the agrarian crisis.

Between 2004 and 2016, Madhya Pradesh recorded 16,932 farmer suicides--more than three every day, and the fourth highest number nationwide--according to this FactChecker.in analysis dated October 22, 2018. Chhattisgarh followed with 12,979 suicides--nearly three everyday, and the fifth highest nationwide. Rajasthan ranked the 11th highest with 5,582 suicides during the same period.

India grew more foodgrain in 2017 than ever before, and the government’s agriculture budget rose 111% over four years to 2017-18, as IndiaSpend reported in January 2018. Yet prices crashed, unpaid agricultural loans grew 20% over the year to 2017, and 600 million Indians who depend on farming struggled to get by.

However, farm distress did not prevent the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) from sweeping the polls and returning to power in the youngest Indian state, 55.5% of whose population earns a living from farming. Tenancy is on the rise in Telangana as small farmers seek to cultivate more land to make farming viable, IndiaSpend reported on December 6, 2018. Without titles, however, they cannot access bank loans and benefit schemes, and are pushed into the hands of usurious moneylenders, our ground investigation found.

We curated a list from the IndiaSpend archives on the stress roiling rural India:

We welcome feedback. Please write to respond@indiaspend.org. We reserve the right to edit responses for language and grammar.