Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien today asked the government to talk to drought-hit farmers of Tamil Nadu to end their agitation for crop loan waiver. Trichy Siva (DMK), who had given a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of the day’s business to discuss the plight of Tamil Nadu farmers, said no one from government had given the agitating farmers an audience and listen to their grievances. The farmers, he said, are demanding crop loan waiver and linking of Cauvery river to help them overcome difficulties arising from drought in the state.
While his notice was disallowed, Siva was allowed to make a brief mention of the issue. Since crop loans have been extended by the public sector banks, the central government has to give an assurance, he said. “Assurance should be given by Prime Minister or a senior minister …. (But) they are not even giving an audience,” he said alleging that the Centre had no sympathy for the Tamil Nadu farmers.
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While AIADMK’s A Navaneethakrishnan supported him saying the central government must respond, D Raja (CPI) said the government was insensitive to the plight of Tamil farmers. Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said newspapers had carried reports of the agitating farmers being forced to eat rats for survival. Kurien said he too has seen the reports of agitating farmers agitating carrying human skulls and eating rates.
He said one of representatives of government should meet and talk to them to convince them to end their agitation. Agreeing with the feelings of the members, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it is a sensitive and important issue and he will convey to the concerned minister the feelings of the House.