CHENNAI: An all-party meeting convened by the DMK here called for a Tamil Nadu bandh on April 25 to press the Centre and the State government to take immediate steps to address the issues of farmers reeling under acute drought and crop loss.
“To express our solidarity with the farmers and urge the Centre and the State to take immediate action on farmers’ issues, we have decided to observe a State-wide one-day general strike,” informed DMK working president M K Stalin, who chaired the meeting at his party’s headquarters, Anna Arivalayam, on Sunday.
He appealed to labourers, youngsters, students, traders, members of various other organisations and all political parties to extend support.
Stalin added that a public meeting would be organised in Chennai on April 22 to explain the resolutions adopted at the all-party meeting in which leaders of several parties, including S Thirunavukkarasar (Congress), G Ramakrishnan (CPM), R Mutharasan (CPI) and Thol Thirumavalavan (VCK) took part.
Though the Left parties and VCK joined in, another prominent party, the PMK, chose to stay away, saying the DMK was as much responsible for the woes of the farmers as the ruling AIADMK party.
As many as 19 resolutions, including those on waiver of all farm loans, visiting Delhi to meet the prime minister, constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Regulation Committee, steps to protect the families of those farmers who ended their lives, giving up methane and hydrocarbon projects and providing `5,000 compensation per month to farm labourers, were adopted.
One resolution sought convening of a special sitting of the Assembly to discuss the woes of farmers and another one demanded conversion of the delta region into a special agricultural zone. It also stressed on steps to increase the water level of the Mullaiperiyar dam to 152 ft and restrain the neighbouring states from going ahead with plans to construct check-dams across inter-state rivers.