Haldwani transporter Prakash Pandey consumed poison and went to the BJP office on 6 January 2018 where Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal was conducting a ‘Janata Darbar’, after which he died on 9 January. If a person goes to a Minister’s Janata Darbar after consuming poison, obviously he has not gone there in the hope of finding a solution to his problem; he has gone there after coming to the conclusion that there is no one to help him; he has reached the end of his tether and is without any hope. Praksh Pandey is heard clearly in the video saying that demonetization and GST have destroyed him. These are the policies which the Modi government announced as a midnight celebration at par with the country’s Independence Day announcement. The irony is that the policies which the government touted as symbols of freedom left no road other than suicide for the traders. If we take a look at the market we will find a similar situation in all the sectors. When, where, and how many more Praksh Pandeys will be forced to commit suicide cannot be predicted.
The Central government and the Uttarakhand government are directly responsible for Prakash Pandey’s death. Prakash Pandey had appealed and applied to the PMO, Finance Minister Arun Jaitly, and even Party President Amit Shah to alleviate his suffering. But nobody paid heed to him. He tells us in the final video that CM Trivendra Singh Rawat’s OSD Urvadutt Bhat kept deceiving him, and even told him that if he produces a BPL card he can be given an aid of Rs 20-30,000. Can there be a crueler joke on a trader engaged in the transport business?
The current rulers have established a new practice: anyone who complains of suffering from government policies is branded a conspirator and an Opposition agent. Before this ploy is adopted in Prakash Pandey’s case, let us take a look at some facets of the case. When Prakash Pandey reached the BJP office, he called the CM useless and said that the BJP government does not listen to anyone’s problems. Was he saying this at the instigation of any Opposition Party? No, for he would certainly not consume poison and end his life at the instigation of an Opposition Party. A look at Prakash Pandey’s FB profile reveals that far from being a critic of the BJP, he was actually a supporter and campaigner of the BJP ideology! In all his appeals to Modi he never failed to add the tag: ‘Modiji, we are always with you!’ It is a supreme irony that the very policies of the BJP he supported broke his back and ruined his business to the extent that he was forced to commit suicide!
The CPI(ML) held a protest and burnt the effigy of Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Rawat at Lalkuan on 10 January 2018 holding the State government responsible for the suicide of Kathgodam transporter Prakash Pandey. Addressing the meeting at the effigy burning State Committee member Purushottam Sharma said that the transporter’s suicide after being ruined by demonetization and GST is a tragedy resulting from the wrong policies of the BJP government. Demonetization and GST are ruining the country’s workers, farmers and traders. The government has waived loans worth lakhs of crores for a few blue-eyed super-rich industrialists but has shown the door to suicide for lakhs of farmers. Now Kathgodam transporter-trader Prakash Pandey has also been forced to take his own life. The Party demands that all loans of the deceased transporter should be waived, and the government should own responsibility for Prakash Pandey’s suicide and pay proper compensation to the victim family.