The Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker said the TN government is doing its best to take the issue forward.

Thambidurai urges protesting TN farmers in New Delhi to call off protests PTI
news Farmers' issue Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 15:57

Deputy Lok Sabha Speaker M Thambidurai urged Tamil Nadu’s farmers protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to call off their 15-day agitation.

Speaking to reporters following his meeting with the farmers, Thambidurai said, “This protest has caught the government’s and public’s attention. The Tamil Nadu government is doing its best to take the issue forward. I request farmers to call of their protest.”

Thambidurai informed protesting farmers that he has requested for a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.

Over 80 farmers from the delta region of Trichy, Karur and Thanjavur have been protesting in the capital since March 23, dressed in loincloths and carrying skulls of farmers who committed suicide. They have been demanding that the Centre immediately release funds to compensate them for their crop losses, declare Tamil Nadu a drought hit state, and waive off their debts.

Suffering the worst drought in 140 years, the Tamil Nadu government had written to the Centre seeking Rs 39,565 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund towards mitigation measures. However, last week, the central drought inspection team recommended a drought fund of Rs 2,096 crore, leaving Tamil Nadu’s farmers disappointed.

Calling the funds insufficient, Thambidurai said, “The drought relief announced by Centre is like giving cornflakes for a hungry elephant.”  

Meanwhile, farmers together with DMK MP Trichy Siva met with Arun Jaitley at around 1:40pm on Tuesday. Farmers will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee at 7:30pm together with Tamil Maanila Congress leader GK Vasan to present their demands.

A number of political leaders from Tamil Nadu, including DMK’s TKS Elangovan and RS Bharathi, AIADMK MP V Maitreyan, who belongs to the O Panneerselvam camp, have made a beeline to Jantar Mantar to lend solidarity with the farmers.

Last week, the farmers had met with Arun Jaitley, who promised to consult officials on their demands before taking action. However, there has been no response from the Finance Minister following that meeting.

 

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