After Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu braces for farmers' strike as cultivators resume protest in Chennai

Chennai: Close on the heels of farmers unrest in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, a group of cultivators led by P Ayyakannu, who had spearheaded a 40-day stir in New Delhi, on Friday launched an "indefinite" protest in Chennai pressing for their charter of demands including comprehensive drought relief.

The agitators began their protest by paying homage to the peasants killed in police firing in Madhya Pradesh recently.

File photo of the Tamil Nadu farmers protests. Reuters

File photo of the Tamil Nadu farmers protests. Reuters

Raising slogans seeking justice for farmers, Ayakkanu emphasised that they faced a slew of problems and urged the government to look into their demands.

He hit out at the Tamil Nadu government for going against a recent Madras High Court directive asking it to extend farm loan waiver to all categories of farmers.

The government should immediately take steps to disburse comprehensive drought relief and stop dragging its feet on the issue, he told PTI.

Ayyakannu, president of National South Indian Rivers Inter-Linking Farmers Association, alleged that the farmers who had sold paddy to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore seven months ago at a regulated market at Chetpet in Tiruvannamalai
district were yet to get paid, pushing them into a debt trap.

He had staged an eye-grabbing protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi before "temporarily" calling it off on 23 April after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami 'promised' to meet their demands.

The farmers had then demanded loan waiver, drought-relief package of Rs 40,000 crore and setting up of Cauvery Management Board.

The group led by Ayyakannu had staged novel protests by holding up human skulls outside the prime minister's house, stripping naked outside the president's and drinking urine.

While announcing the withdrawal of the protest then, they had threatened to resume the agitation in Delhi from 25 May if their demands were not met.

Updated Date: Jun 09, 2017 15:31 PM

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