The State Government should come up with a new scheme to mitigate the suffering of the farmers reeling under drought, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary, Vaiko said.
Addressing the protestors at a day-long hunger strike here on Thursday, Mr. Vaiko said that it was the right time for the Government to feed the farmers who had been providing food to the people.
Mr. Vaiko sought drought relief to the tune of Rs. 25,000 an acre for Cauvery Delta farmers and wanted the Government to provide Rs. 15,000 an acre for farmers of rain-fed areas. Similarly, farm hands should be given a compensation of Rs. 10,000.
He also sought Rs. 10 lakh compensation to the families of the 13 farmers across the State who had committed suicide following crop failure.
Mr. Vaiko complained that officials had refused to take premium for crop insurance from farmers claiming that the deadline for payment of premium had ended on December 18. There was no announcement by the Government to this effect and he wanted to know whether the Government issued any such instruction.
While the State Government had announced rescheduling of cooperative loans, farmers were issued notice seeking repayment of loan within 15 days. “Is the Government aware of such developments,” he asked.
The Centre should come forward to waive the crop loan given to the farmers through nationalised banks, he said.
While the farmers sought to nationalise rivers, the Centre was trying to bring forward the National Water Policy 2012 that would prevent local bodies from drawing water for supply to the people. Even farmers would not be allowed to sink deep borewells to irrigate their farmland. Stating that water was a natural resource common to all, he warned that the common man would be affected by the policy.
Among those who took part in the fast were the leader of Five District Farmers’ Association, K. M. Abbas, and party Virudhunagar district secretary R.M. Shanmugasundaram.