Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Sunday met with farmers staging a demonstration at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, where they are demanding government intervention into the drought crisis affecting their home state. He urged them to call off their strike and vowed to submit a memorandum, highlighting their demands, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The farmers have been criticised by some groups for adopting extreme measures to get attention. On Saturday, the protestors drank their own urine in a bid to draw attraction to their cause. Last week, a man wearing a mask of Narendra Modi whipped the farmers at Jantar Mantar to depict what they are going through.
Swaraj Abhiyan President Prashant Bhushan had offered his support to the farmers, India Today reported. Bhushan had filed a plea in the Supreme Court asking that Tamil Nadu be added to the states receiving drought relief.
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, eaten off the road, 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.