CHENNAI: IT will be a novel protest sans slogans. Farmers from Tamil Nadu will perform poojas and rituals on August 3, in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, to press for interlinking of rivers.
Clad in white and green, 50 members of the Desiya-Thennindhiya Nathigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam (National-South Indian Rivers Interlinking Farmers Association) from nine districts, including Tiruchy, Thanjavur and Karur, boarded the Ganga Kaveri Express on Monday protesting the Centre’s ‘inaction’ on linking rivers. They also demanded loan waiver and a profitable price for their produce.
“We are going to Varanasi to perform poojas imploring the Lord to grant Modi good sense to link the rivers in the country and keep his promises to farmers,” said Ayyakannu P (71), State president of the association.
After performing poojas, 20 members would shave their heads and proceed to Rameswaram to take a holy dip, the members said. “We will give six months time to fulfil our demands, failing which 500 farmers will commit suicide outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Delhi so that the government will not shift the blame for our deaths to family problems and other personal reasons,” said Ayyakannu.
He also demanded the implementation of the recommendations made by the National Commission on Farmers in 2006. The panel has called for Maximum Support Price for crops ‘at 50 per cent more than the weighed average cost of production’.