Ghosts and evil spirits were responsible for the deaths of two out of 418 farmers in Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's constituency, said MP's home minister Bhupinder Singh in the state assembly on Wednesday.
In a written response on the farmer suicides in the district, Singh said the government had conducted a survey to learn the reasons for the suicides, but poverty due to crop failure was not on his list of responses, according to the Hindustan Times.
Singh said in the assembly: "In our survey, we did not find any family saying that the farmers concerned had committed suicide due to crop failure-induced economic stress."
However, he added, two farmers committed suicide instigated by ghosts and evil spirits.
Congress MLA Shailendra Patel then asked: "Does this mean the state government believes in ghosts and superstition?" while Opposition MLA Jitu Patwari said that given Singh's statement, the MP government must officially recognise the existence of ghosts.