Delhi, July 20: Dissatisfied over the Tamil Nadu MLAs’ salary hike, the farmers demanding loan waiver contnued their protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Friday.
On Thursday, farmers were seen beating themselves with chappals.
Tamil Nadu farmers’ leader at Jantar Mantar, Delhi Ayakannu, expressed that being a farmer is worse than being a beggar in India.
The Tamil Nadu MLAs on Wednesday approved a 100 per cent salary hike for themselves. The MLAs would now receive a monthly salary of Rs 1.5 lakh, a massive hike from their previous salary of Rs 55,000 per month.
The salary hike was announced by CM E Palaniswami in the state Assembly. On one side where farmers are living in critical condition and cursing themselves in the state demanding loan waiver and on the contrary the government is busy in improving their salary figures.
Dozens of farmers from Tamil Nadu are protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for months now demanding a Rs 40,000 crore drought relief package, farm loan waiver and setting up of the Cauvery Management Board by the Centre.
“Its just another way to hold those MLAs together. Why else do you think he decided to announce it on the last day? Back in 2011, Jayalalitha denied to do so claiming that the state’s financial conditions are bad. Now its even worse as we are 5 lakh crore in debt,” stated DMK MLA J Anbazagan.
He also pointed out that the move only shows that AIADMK is only concerned about its MLAs. “Farmers are protesting semi-nude in Delhi. The government is not ready to waive-off their loans but CM had agreed for the MLA salary. You yourself decode the message,” laughed Anbazagan.
During the course of the protest, the farmers have turned to increasingly desperate measures to direct attention to their issues.
They have shaved their heads and half their moustaches, kept mice and snakes in their mouths, conducted mock funerals, flogged themselves and even carried skulls which they claimed were of farmers who had committed suicide due to debt pressure.
TRB Raja, son of former minister TR Balu and a sitting MLA also asked the time of such an announcement. “I would rather prefer the farmers celebrating with such hikes than myself,” he said.