Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi met Tamil farmers protesting in the national capital on Friday. The Gandhi scion sat with the farmers in Jantar Mantar, on Day 18 of their agitation, to express his solidarity and support.
Over 80 farmers from Tamil Nadu's delta region are protesting in New Delhi over the Centre's alleged apathy towards the state's agriculturalists in the wake of a severe drought. These farmers, who arrived in the capital on March 13, have shocked the country with their demonstrations.
They have held skulls of farmers who committed suicide in their hands, and dead snakes in their mouths, to symbolise their desperation.
As the protests enter their 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 the protesters, assuring them of their support.
In addition to this, they have also met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and President Pranab Mukherjee to take their demands forward.
Their demand for farm loan waiver and drought relief, however, is yet to be met with.
"The Government of India has given debt relief to several rich persons, so why can't they do the same for farmers?" asked Rahul Gandhi, who was flanked by Iyyakannu, the Tamil Nadu chief of the Desiya Thenidhiya Nathigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam.
"What the Prime Minister is doing is unacceptable. What wrong have these farmers done? It is the Prime Minister's responsibility to help them. The Congress will take this matter up in the Parliament," he added.
The farmers meanwhile, claimed that the Prime Minister was not paying attention to their problems and sought the Congress' help in the matter.
"Bank employees are harassing us to return the money that we borrowed. How are we supposed to do this when our crops have failed? They humiliate farmers and their families in the whole process. We welcome Rahul Gandhi's intervention and request him to save our lives and the fate of Tamil Nadu," said Iyyakannu, following the Congress Vice President's visit.