The MDMK Chief will present the farmers’ demands to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Vaiko meets protesting farmers in Delhi promises agitation if Centre doesnt meet demandsYouTube screenshot
news Farmers' issue Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 17:23

MDMK Chief Vaiko met farmers from Tamil Nadu, who have been protesting in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for the last thirteen days, and promised to hand over their list of demands to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday.

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.

Speaking to Puthiya Thalaimurai, Vaiko said, “I have told Modi that farmers think you are not their supporter, but the supporter of corporate companies. I told this to his face earlier. I will see Arun Jaitley, and present these demands.”

He, however, warned that if the demands are not met by the Centre, he would launch a protest and go from place to place in the state and take the farmers’ issue to the people. “There are 200 farmers sitting on the road with nothing but loincloths on. And the Centre still has no ears or eyes,” he exclaimed.

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, earlier this week, the central drought inspection team recommended a drought fund of Rs 2,096 crore, leaving Tamil Nadu’s farmers disappointed.

The farmers have refused to give up their agitation until their demands are met. They say that Tamil Nadu has been given a raw deal by the Centre.

The MDMK chief said, “The state government has done whatever needs to be done and has asked for funds. This central government doesn’t want to do anything. They seem to think ‘Let Tamil Nadu suffer. We will place our BJP govt there,’” Vaiko alleged.  

Protesting farmers had met with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday, who promised to consult officials on their demands before taking action. However, farmers allege that there has been no response from the Centre.

On Saturday, actors Vishal, Prakash Raj, Soundararaja, representing the Nadigar Sangam and director Pandiarajan met with Arun Jaitley to present the demands of the protesting farmers. They had earlier met with the farmers at Jantar Mantar to express solidarity with their cause.

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