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Tamil Nadu farmers strip near PMO during agitation

Protesting Tamil Nadu farmers strip in front of PM's office

BJP leader Narayanan from Tamil Nadu to Puthiya Thalaimurai sad."We condemn the naked protest".

The farmers led by Ayyakannu have been eating rats, conducting mock funerals, blowing conches, rolling on the ground half naked, shaving their heads and protesting with the skulls of farmers who allegedly committed suicide.

But that was not all. They even slit their own palms and stripped off their clothes. "It is wrong. It is wrong for farmers to protest in Delhi", he said. With the worst drought in over a century, Tamil Nadu's farmers have been seeking loan waivers and other reforms to ensure sustenance. As always, for every demand raised by an affected party, there are two sides. The protesting farmers have warned of continuing with the stir until the crisis in the state is resolved and they are given relief package by the Centre.

He said one of representatives of government should meet and talk to them to convince them to end their agitation. Most farmers haven't earned anything to come through on these payments. Maharashtra and Karnataka are also planning to follow suit, citing the persistent drought conditions.

But, if it wants to, the State government can waive the loans. The state is expected to face drought this year too.

Last week, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh made a decision to waive farm loans totalling Rs 36,359 crore benefitting small and marginal farmers in that state. The post-Jayalalitha administration has persisted with the similar demand. These are in the hands of the Central government. It has merely advanced Rs 2000 crore to Tamil Nadu in this regard. And now, even as they struggle for visibility in Delhi, life goes on as usual in their home state. That would encourage fiscal irresponsibility on the part of the states, the Centre contends.

"We are having severe drinking water problem in Tamil Nadu".

While AIADMK's A Navaneethakrishnan supported him saying the central government must respond, D Raja (CPI) said the government was insensitive to the plight of Tamil farmers.

But the Central government can not escape its responsibility for improving the prospect of agriculture which is increasingly becoming an unremunerative profession. So, we chose to draw the attention of the government.

The farmers have been demanding in this regard from the past three weeks. Farmers are also pushing for the inter-linking of rivers, pensions and a Cauvery management board as measures to protect farmers in the future. Loan waivers are just a palliative; of course, it is a much-needed palliative, as it involves the immediate survival of the millions of poor.