New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said farmers’ problem in the country was “old, deep-rooted and widespread”, and sought a collective response from political leaders to the agrarian crisis caused by unseasonal rains.

Resolving not to “abandon” the farmers, Modi said there should be a collective resolve in this regard. “We have an open mind to consider any suggestion that is made… We cannot let the farmers die,” he said.

“The problem (afflicting the farmers) is old, deep-rooted and widespread and we have to seek solutions in that context,” he said in the Lok Sabha after the house witnessed a ruckus on the issue.

Modi said: “It should be our determination to find a solution to this problem. The issue has been there for long… we will have to think together where we went wrong and what were the deficiencies in the system that resulted in the crisis.”

The prime minister appealed to leaders across the political spectrum to come together and share their suggestions to address the problem of the rising number of farmers’ suicide in the country.

“For years the issue of farmers committing suicide has been a matter of great concern… There is nothing more important than the life of the farmer,” he said, adding that the government would ensure help to them in every possible way.

Modi stated that he was pained by a farmer’s death at the Aam Aadmi Party rally in the capital and said: “Ab hum apne kisano ko nahi marne denge (we won’t let our farmers die anymore).”

“We can’t abandon our farmers… I welcome good suggestions (to address the situation) by all,” he added.

Modi’s statement came after a farmer from Rajasthan, whose crops were destroyed by unseasonal rain, hanged himself from a tree here during an AAP rally on Wednesday. The rally was called to protest the controversial land ordinance.

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