Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Sunday met with protesting farmers from his state at the Jantar Mantar and assured help. The farmers have protested here for the past 40 days and demands loan waivers, drought relief packages and formation of a Cauvery management board to resolve their irrigation issues.
Palaniswami, in a brief 20 minutes meeting, assured that he will take up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funds to waive off the loan and urged the farmers to end their protest. “We will try to cut down the unnecessary expenses and make arrangements…I will take up the farmer’s demands to the Prime Minister…We urge the farmers to end their protest,” Palaniswami said.
P. Ayyakannu, president of the National-South Indian Rivers Linking Farmers Association, who is also leading the protest, said the agitation will not end until their demands are met which also includes meeting the Prime Minister.
In past 40 days, the protesting farmers have marched naked outside the Prime Minister’s office, ate mice, shaved their heads, marked mock funerals and on Saturday even drank their urine to attract the central government and the Prime Minster’s attention towards their cause and plight.
Bold in their way of protesting, farmers demonstrate with the skulls of their kin and other farmers from Tamil Nadu who committed suicide.Earlier this month, the central government approved Rs 1,712 crore under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for Tamil Nadu. But the state government has sought a relief package of Rs 40,000 crore.
Tamil Nadu is facing a severe drought. In January, the state government declared Tamil Nadu drought-hit after over 100 farmers allegedly committed suicide.
According to the farmersm nothing has grown over 29 lakh hectare in Cauvery delta since 2016 due to lack of water.