Kamal Nath

Hyderabad: On October 20, 2018, president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Kamal Nath spoke to Times Now ahead of the elections to the state’s legislative assembly on November 28, 2018.

“Number one in rape, number one in farmer suicide, number one in unemployment,” Nath said referring to Madhya Pradesh and the discontent among the state’s electorate.

We checked these claims and found that Nath was partly right about rape and wrong about unemployment and farm suicides.

Claim: “If you take rape--number 1.”

Fact: Partly true. In 2016, Madhya Pradesh had India’s highest cases of rape (4,882), according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau.

However, in terms of crime rate--cases of rape per 100,000 women--Madhya Pradesh had the fifth highest rate (13.1), after Sikkim (30.3), Delhi (22.6), Arunachal Pradesh (14.7) and Meghalaya (13.8), data show.

Claim: “You take unemployment--highest unemployment in the country.”

Fact: False. In 2015-16, Madhya Pradesh had an unemployment rate of 4.3%, lower than the national average of 5%, according to the ministry of labour and employment’s fifth annual employment-unemployment survey.

Tripura had the highest (19.7%), while states such as Kerala (12.5%), Goa (9.6%) and Uttar Pradesh (7.4%) lagged Madhya Pradesh. In all, 23 states/union territories had higher unemployment rates than Madhya Pradesh, while only eight states and four union territories performed better.

Source: Ministry of labour and employment’s fifth annual employment-unemployment survey
Note: Figures for the usual principal status approach

Claim: “If you take the farmers, Madhya Pradesh has the highest farmer suicide in the country.”

Fact: False. In 2016, the year for which latest data are available, Madhya Pradesh had 1,321 farmer suicides--including cultivators and agricultural labourers--third highest in the country after Maharashtra (3,661) and Karnataka (2,079), according to provisional data submitted to the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare by the NCRB.

Source: Lok Sabha
Note: Includes cultivators and agricultural labourers

In 2015, Madhya Pradesh saw 1,290 farmer suicides, fourth highest after Maharashtra (4,291), Karnataka (1,569) and Telangana (1,400), NCRB data show. In 2014, Madhya Pradesh had 1,198 suicides, third highest after Maharashtra (4,004) and Telangana (1,347).

NCRB began classifying farmer suicides into suicides of farmers/cultivators and agricultural labourers only in 2014. If farmers/cultivators alone were to be considered, Madhya Pradesh had 599 suicides in 2016, fourth highest after Maharashtra (2,550), Karnataka (1,212) and Telangana (632), data show.

The Bharatiya Janata Party came into power in the state in December 2003. Since 2004, MP never had the most farmer suicides in the country, data show.

Between 2004 and 2016, Madhya Pradesh recorded 16,932 farmer suicides--fourth highest after Maharashtra (48,804), Andhra Pradesh (25,748 including Telangana until 2013) and Karnataka (24,099).

Source: Accidental Deaths & Suicides report by the National Crime Records Bureau for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015; Provisional data for 2016 submitted to Lok Sabha

(Madhavapeddi is news editor, IndiaSpend and FactChecker.)

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