Javadekar defends cutting of trees for PM's rally

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar defended cutting of trees for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's poll rally, saying such a thing was done earlier too, but more trees were also planted.

His remarks came a day after the opposition parties alleged that some trees on the campus of Sir Parshuram College in Maharashtra's Pune city were chopped on Monday for Modi's October 17 rally, which will be held on the college ground.

"Every time we cut trees, we plant more. It is a rule of the forest department," Javadekar told reporters.

"And why is there so much fuss about cutting of trees for Modi's rally? Trees have been cut for rallies of others too, and for rallies of previous prime ministers. I wonder why there was no such awareness previously," he said.

On the issue of farmer suicides in Maharashtra, Javadekar said, "We inherited the issue from the previous (Congress-NCP) government."

"Farmers' suicides are happening only in five districts because there were no irrigation facilities," the minister said.