Tamil Nadu farmers who are protesting in Delhi for a draught-relief package, have called off their strike till May 25, hours after meeting state chief minister E Palaniswami, according to news agency ANI. “If our demands are not fulfilled we will start our protest again after 25th May. If we get train tickets, will leave today,” said Ayyakanu, a protesting farmer. During the meeting, the chief minister had assured them of all possible help in the matter. Farmers of the state had been protesting for last 40 days and were demanding waivers on loans, drought relief packages, among others. During his meeting with farmers, which lasted for almost twenty minutes, chief minister Palaniswami assured them of speaking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funds to waive off the loans. He had also urged them to call off their protest.
The protesting farmers, in last 40 days marched outside the Prime Minister’s office, shaved their heads, marked mock funerals, ate mice, walked around nude on streets, and even drank their urine to attract Centre’s attention towards their plight.
They also sat in protest with skulls of their near and dear ones as also other farmers from the state who committed suicide. Even as the state government has sought a relief package of Rs 40,000 crore, the Centre had approved Rs 1,712 crore under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) earlier this month
The state is facing a most severe drought and this caused the Tamil Nadu government to declare the state drought-hit after more than 100 farmers allegedly committed suicide.
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, who also accompanied Palaniswami, TN CM is in the national capital to take part in a NITI Aayog meeting along with chief ministers of other states, said the Tamil Nadu government was working on the demands raised by the protestors, news agency PTI revealed.
DMK working president MK Stalin today also urged the farmers to defer their agitation and take part in the April 25 bandh called by the opposition parties in the state in support of the drought-hit farmers.