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LATEST NEWS: 111 Farmers from Tamil Nadu to contest against PM Modi in Varanasi

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Pic Credit - Deccanchronicle

In an unanticipated or new challenge to PM Narendra Modi, who will be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi, around 111 farmers from Tamil Nadu have decided to fight the electoral battle against the Prime Minister and file nominations from the city. The angry and distressed farmers, who had taken their protests to New Delhi, have directly challenged Modi, just days ahead of the crucial elections.

P Ayyakannu, Tamil Nadu farmers’ leader on 23rd March 2019 said that 111 farmers from the State will compete against the Prime Minister from the holy city.

Ayyakannu, who is also head of the National South Indian Rivers Inter-Linking Farmers Association, further told that the decision to contest the elections from Uttar Pradesh was to urge the Bhartiya Janata Party to add in their manifesto that their demands, including "profitable prices for farm produce," would be fulfilled.

While speaking to news agency PTI, Ayyakannu who spearheaded demonstrations in New Delhi in 2017 for more than 100 days said the "moment they promise in their manifesto that our demands will be fulfilled, we will drop our decision to contest against PM." Further in the event of that not happening, the farmer leader said they would move ahead and contest against Modi.

Ayyakannu said the decision to contest elections has the support of farmers all over and the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.

When asked why they were raising the demand with BJP only and not with other parties like Congress to incorporate it in their manifestos, Ayyakannu said the Bhartiya Janata Party was still the ruling party & Modi, the Prime Minister of the country.

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He added that parties like the DMK & the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam have guaranteed full loan waiver, which is one of the farmers' demands, in their election manifestos. He clarified that "We are not against our PM Modi or the BJP. Before assuming power, PM promised fulfilling our demands & assured to double our earnings. Even today he is our Prime Minister and the BJP the ruling party and that’s why we are making this demand to them."

The farmer leader doubted as to what stopped the saffron party from giving an assurance. Ayyakannu said he has already booked train tickets for 300 cultivators to go to Varanasi. Farmers from districts, like Tiruchirappalli and Tiruvannamalai, will reach Varanasi.

He said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had promised to fulfill their demands that included gainful prices for farm produce, loan waiver from all banks – nationalised & cooperative and Rs 5,000 pension for farmers above 60.

 

He also told that "At the least, let the lone BJP Member of Parliament from Tamil Nadu, Pon Radhakrishnan commit that our demands will be honoured in the poll manifesto then we can think about reconsidering our decision”.

Last year in November, a number of farmers led by Ayyakannu had gone to Delhi with two "skulls," to participate in the kisan rally, saying it belonged to their coworkers who had allegedly committed suicide due to debt.



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Krishi Jagran