In an attempt to understand the woes of the Tamil Nadu farmers, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M.K. Stalin on 1 April met them while they were protesting at Jantar Mantar here demanding drought-relief fund adding that the Centre seemed to be "unperturbed" by their issues.
While recalling their party's role in addressing farmers' issues while they were in power, Stalin said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanisamy must come to the national capital and take up the issue with the Central Government.
"The farmers have been continuously undertaking protests in the national capital, but the Centre does not seem to be bothered about it. It is very unfortunate. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister must have come here and found a solution to the problem," Stalin said while briefing the media here.
Criticising the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for being busy with R.K. Nagar by-polls, the DMK working president said an all-party meeting should be convened.
"It is a fact that in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (AIADMK) rule, more than 250 farmers have committed suicide, and incidents are increasing every day. Water must have been released for farmers from the Methur dam every year, but in six and a half years water has not been properly given to farmers. During Karunanidhi's rule, when this type of situation developed we waived off farmers' banks loans to help them," he said.
Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for failing to fulfil their promises as promised by them during the elections, Stalin said nothing seemed to have changed even while they were in power.
The farmers have been in the national capital, demanding that their loans from nationalised banks be forgiven, fair and just prices be set for their produce and to come up with realistic solutions to the water scarcity in the state.
They have been staging a protest at Jantar Mantar by holding living mice in their mouths to demonstrate that they will have to feed on them if the government fails to declare drought relief packages and waiver loans for the farmers from the state.
Meanwhile, the farmers are expected to meet Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the evening. DMK MP Tiruchi Siva is expected to accompany the farmers.
AIADMK member and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha M. Thambidurai, who visited the agitating farmers yesterday for a second time, assured them that the issue would be placed before Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the earliest.