Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Farmers Associations’ Joint Movement (TNFAJM), which includes 94 farmers’ organisations across the state, began its strike on Monday, in support of hundreds of farmers from the state who have been protesting in Delhi for 21 days.
The farmers are demanding farm loan waiver, a drought relief package of Rs40,000 crore from the Centre and setting up of Cauvery Management Board.
Political parties, student unions and several other trade organisations have decided to support the shutdown. While shops were completely closed in the Cauvery delta region in Tamil Nadu, farmers in and around Coimbatore are on a hunger strike.
P. Ayyakannu, who is leading the protests in Delhi, said they will continue to agitate until Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets them and added that they would mobilise a larger group of farmers from other states.
The Central government on Saturday said that it has released Rs1,712.10 crore and Rs1,235.52 crore for drought-hit states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, respectively, from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
On Saturday, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president and leader of opposition M.K. Stalin met the agitating farmers in Delhi and urged the PM to waive off farmer loans as promised for Uttar Pradesh during the recent assembly elections.
Meanwhile, Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan on Sunday said it was not possible for the Centre to waive off loans for Tamil Nadu farmers alone as the government would have to consider the situation in other states before deciding on the issue.