Farmers from Tamil Nadu have been protesting in Delhi for weeks over drought relief.
- Farmers protesting at Jantar Mantar call off strike for 15 days
- Chief Minister had assured farmers their demands will be met
- Farmers have been protesting for six weeks over drought relief
Farmers from Tamil Nadu have called off their strike in Delhi for a month over a drought relief package after an assurance by Chief Minister E Palaniswami today. Mr Palaniswami had met the farmers who have been protesting at Delhi's Jantar Mantar for the last six weeks. The chief minister assured the farmers that their demands will be met and urged them to call off their protest.
The move came after Mr Palaniswami met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and highlighted the farmers' issue. He had also discussed the issue with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The farmers' union said if their demands are not met by May 25, they will resume their strike.
Mr Palaniswami, who arrived in the national capital yesterday, attended the NITI Aayog meeting along with chief ministers of other states.
The protesting farmers have been demanding a Rs 40,000-crore drought relief package, farm loan waiver and setting up of the Cauvery Management Board by the centre. Over the last 39 days, they have shaved their heads, halved their moustaches, held mice and snakes in their mouths, conducted mock funerals, flogged themselves and even carried skulls of other farmers who had committed suicide due to debt pressure.
Earlier this month, dozens of protesters blocked all six lanes of Chennai's arterial Kathipaara flyover by tying an iron chain to the poles on either side to express solidarity with the farmers protesting in Delhi.
The Madras High Court, too, had directed state government to expand its farm loan waiver scheme to include farmers who own land over five acres. However, there is no relief for those who have borrowed from nationalised banks. The state had sought Rs. 40,000 crore from the centre, which sanctioned only Rs. 4,000 crore.
With 60 per cent deficit in rainfall, Tamil Nadu witnessed its worst drought in 140 years.