Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin on Wednesday met Tamil Nadu Speaker P Dhanapal and asked him to convene a special session of the Assembly to address the plight of the state’s farmers, ANI reported. Over the past month, Tamil Nadu’s farmers have been camping in New Delhi and protesting in innovative ways, including in the nude, to press the government into providing them drought relief funds.
“We met Tamil Nadu Speaker and demanded an immediate Assembly session. We waited to meet chief minister [Edappadi K Palaniswami] but he did not meet us,” Stalin said. Earlier, the party had passed a resolution calling for a state-wide bandh on April 25 in a show of solidarity to the farmers. The Tamil Nadu High Court had directed the government to waive off loans for small farmers.
Besides a drought fund of Rs 40,000 crore, the farmers have demanded their loans be waived and asked for pensions for those farmers who do not work on the field anymore. The protestors had initially not been noticed in the Capital and had resorted to several unusual methods to draw attention to their demands. Over the course of the past month, they have shaved half of their moustaches and heads, held pieces of dead animals like snakes in their mouths, and displayed the skulls of other farmers who had killed themselves because of the massive debt they are facing. The state is expected to face drought this year too.