Published On: Sun, Apr 23rd, 2017

Tamil Nadu farmers call off Delhi protest till May 25

New Delhi: Farmers from Tamil Nadu, holding a protest at the Jantar Mantar here from the last 41 days to draw attention to their plight, on Sunday suspended their protests till May 25 after state Chief Minister K Palaniswami assured them that he will take up their demands including that of loan waiver with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ayyakannu threatened to restart the agitations from May 25 if their demands are not met with by then

However, the agitation would be resumed if promises are not fulfilled, said P Ayyakannu, president of the National-South Indian Rivers Linking Farmers Association, who was leading the protest.

These farmers had held a rally from the India Gate to the Jantar Mantar before the announcement.

“We have been holding protests here from 41 days, during which we met the President, (Union) Finance Minister, Agriculture Minister, and Minister of State for Transport. They all assured us that our case will be considered. However, we have not received any help so far. Today, Chief Minister said he will write off our loans, taken from both nationalised and cooperative banks. So we have decided to suspend our agitations till May 25,” Ayyakannu told media.

He also said that DMK Working President MK Stalin had asked these farmers to return to the state.

The farmers were on protest sit-in seeking loan waivers, drought relief packages and formation of a Cauvery Management Board to resolve their irrigation issues.

Ayyakannu threatened to restart the agitations from May 25 if their demands are not met with by then.

“We will review the situation after a month. If the government fails to fulfill its promises, we will agitate again,” he said, adding that farmers from several states, including Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, Assam, and Odisha have extended their support to their agitation.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas visited these farmers and assured them of all support. He said that Prime Minister Modi was sensitive to such issues so he “will react” to it.

On Friday, these farmers had collected their urine in plastic bottles and threatened to consume it if the Union government fails to respond to their demands, including a loan waiver, drought relief package and formation of a Cauvery river management board.

From wearing human skulls to conducting mock funerals and even stripping at Raisina Hill here, the farmers have been grabbing eyeballs for the last 40 days with their startling ways of protest.

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