Farmers from Tamil Nadu, who had been camping in Delhi for the past month to press for drought-relief funds, temporarily withdrew their strike on Sunday after Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami promised to look into their grievances, ANI reported. The farmers said they would resume their strike if their demands were not fulfilled by May 25.
Palaniswami had on Sunday morning met the farmers at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, where they have been demanding government intervention into the drought crisis affecting their home state. He had urged them to call off their strike and vowed to submit a memorandum, highlighting their demands, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister took up the issue with the Prime Minister at a meeting of the Governing Council of Niti Aayog on Sunday, the news agency reported. Earlier, the farmers had said they would take a call on their protest at 6 pm after meeting Palaniswami.
On Saturday, 40 days into their protest, the farmers had drunk their own urine to draw attention to the crisis. State president of the National South-Indian Rivers Linking Farmers’ Association, P Ayyakkannu, said, “We are not getting water to drink in Tamil Nadu, and Prime Minister Modi has been ignoring our thirst. So, we will have to quench our thirst with our own urine.” They had vowed to eat their own faeces if their demands are not met.
The farmers have been criticised by some groups for going to such extreme measures to get attention. Last week, a man wearing a mask of Narendra Modi whipped the farmers at Jantar Mantar to depict what they are going through.