The trend of cotton farmers' suicides in Vidarbha keeps showing an upward spike since prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the area in early July and the announcement of a package for the beleaguered people. September saw 116 farmers committing suicide in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. This surpasses the unfortunate record of August -- the total suicides have now mounted to more than 900 since May 2005 and 311, since the prime minister announced his Rs 3,750-crore package. What is even more worrying is that the suicidal trend is spreading to other areas -- for example, Marathwada. The total toll for September was 131. Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari says the suicides continue unabated after the failure to implement the prime minister's package. Besides, no immediate monetary relief has been given to the farmers.
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