Tamil Nadu

Farmers in Cauvery Delta oppose Centre’s move to do away with free power

The Cauvery Delta Farmers Federation has said it wants the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to ensure that the Centre’s move to discontinue free power supply to farmers is dropped

The Cauvery Delta Farmers Federation has urged Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to convene a joint meeting of leaders of all political parties and also representatives of farmers’ outfits to ensure that the Centre’s move to discontinue free power supply to farmers is dropped.

The Chief Minister should not stop with writing a letter to the Prime Minister to register the government’s strong protest against the move of the Centre to discontinue the free power supply.

“This should be followed by sustained pressure on the Centre to refrain from translating its proposal to action and protect the farmers in the State,” K.V. Elangeeran, president of the Federation told The Hindu. Mr. Elangeeran said the Centre should not “grab” the right and privilege of the State government in making power available to farmers.

In Tamil Nadu, the number of farm connections was more than that in most other States. An estimated 21 lakh power connections for farm operations have been in existence in the State and there were also several farmers waiting for new connections. Cuddalore district alone had about 71,171 connections, he said.

The farmers got the right after several of the ryots laid down their lives during the agitation for free power connections, Mr. Elangeeran said.

When Jayalalithaa became the Chief Minister in 1991, the free power supply scheme for agriculture was discontinued and this triggered widespread protests in the State by farmers who resorted to a ‘jail bharao’ agitation forcing her to withdraw the order discontinuing free supply.

The free supply scheme was introduced by the State government in keeping with the powers available to it under the Constitution, he said.

“The free power supply is not only the right of farmers for the livelihood but also to guarantee food supply to around 8 crore people in the State,” Mr. Elangeeran contended.

He appealed to the Chief Minister to ensure that the Centre was reined in from implementing its policy to discontinue free supply for farmers.

“We will all raise our voice against the Centre’s policy to pamper private players”, he said and pledged to protect the rights of farmers.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 9:30:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/farmers-in-cauvery-delta-oppose-centres-move-to-do-away-with-free-power/article31639917.ece

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