Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Working President MK Stalin met farmers from Tamil Nadu protesting in New Delhi on Saturday.
The farmers have been on protest for 19 days and Stalin promised to speak to the Prime Minister about their demands.
Stalin's visit comes a day after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi met the farmers. MK Stalin reached Jantar Mantar around 10 am on Saturday and spoke to the farmers. There were about 200 people in the protest. He left the venue around 11 am.
Addressing the media, MK Stalin said, “For the last 19 days, the farmers have been protesting in New Delhi. But both the Central government and the state government are not showing any concern. This is painful. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister needs to take a decision on this issue, but he is busy with the RK Nagar elections. Under the AIADMK led government, more than 250 farmers have committed suicide and it is still continuing,” he said.
He also said that the central government's assistance for the farmers is insufficient. “DMK MPs have been constantly talking to the central government. These farmers met Arun Jaitley and shared their concerns. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister need to take a decision on the farmer’s issue,” said Stalin.
Speaking to The News Minute, Premkumar from Desiya Thenindiya Nadhineer Inaippu Vyavasaigal Sangam (a framer's collective) said, “Stalin has extended his support to our protest. He has told us that he will be meeting the Prime Minister and telling him about our demands. He did not get an appointment for Saturday, but he will meet,” he said.
One of the key demands is that the Centre should declare Tamil Nadu a drought-hit state. Besides this, the farmers want the government to provide immediate relief and waive off their debts. Farmers' associations have also demanded that the centres should ensure the interlinking of rivers in the country.
Premkumar added that they will continue the protest until the Prime Minister accepts their demands.
As the protests entered its third week, the demonstration site at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi has become a photo-op spot for several politicians. Leaders from AIADMK, DMK and MDMK have met protesters, assuring them of their support.