Following on the footsteps of farmers in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, a group of farmers in Tamil Nadu have launched an indefinite protest, demanding a comprehensive drought relief package. The protest is led by P Ayyakannu, the same man who had recently held protests at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. The protest is also to express solidarity with those killed in Madhya Pradesh. Ayyakannu said that the farmers are facing a host of problems and it’s time that the government takes active steps to resolve their problems. He accused the Tamil Nadu government of not following orders given by the Madras High Court, wherein the court had asked the state government to extend farm loan waiver to all categories of farmers. Ayyakannu said that the government should act immediately and stop dragging its feet on providing drought relief to farmers.
Ayyakannu also pointed out to the delay in payments being released to farmers. He said that the farmers had sold their paddy worth Rs 1.5 crore around seven months ago at a government regulated market in Chetpet in Tiruvannamalai district, but they are yet to receive the payment for the same. It may be recalled that earlier, during the protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the farmers had made some key demands such as complete loan waiver, drought relief package of Rs. 40,000 crore and setting up of the Cauvery Management Board.