TN: Oppn parties express concern over farmer’s suicide
Opposition parties including DMK on Sunday voiced concern over the suicide of a farmer in Ariyalur and the police assault on another and sought action, including waiver of farm loans in the state.
DMK president M Karunanidhi alleged that the farmers were facing many difficulties in the AIADMK rule and said the government had not heeded to their demands on many issues despite their staging a number of protests.
Expressing concern over the death of Ariyalur-based farmer Arumugam, who allegedly consumed poison, Karunanidhi said there was a spike in instances of farmers committing suicide over loan repayment issues and urged them not to resort to such extreme steps.
With elections scheduled in another two months (on May 16), a new government will come in place which will redress farmers’ grievances, he said in a statement. “Elections are scheduled in two months. Be hopeful. A government that will protect farmers’ interest will come. Then all your problems will end,” he said.
Karunanidhi also demanded action against cops who had allegedly assaulted a Thanjavur-based farmer for non-repayment of loan, an incident which was caught on tape and went viral, prompting outrage.
Arumugam consumed poison on Saturday after being allegedly ill-treated by some officials of the company that had lent him money to purchase a tractor few years back.
Officials of the finance company had come to his house on March 10 and had allegedly abused and insulted him in front of villagers, besides distraining his tractor.
PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss expressed ‘shock’ and ‘grief’ over the two incidents and said that instances of musclemen being used by credit companies to confiscate property like tractor was not new in Tamil Nadu.
He said severe drought situation in many parts of the state had affected farming, due to which farmers could not repay loan dues. He said that both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had implemented loan-waiver schemes, which he said had resulted in a dip in farmers’ suicides in those states.
Referring to his party’s assurance of waiving farm loans if voted to power, he assured it will certainly be implemented if PMK was elected.
MDMK founder Vaiko charged the AIADMK government with not addressing farmers’ issues including that of fixing fair prices for paddy and sugarcane. He demanded action against the finance company “responsible” for the Ariyalur farmer’s suicide and also demanded that the government sanction a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to his family.
He also assured that if his party-led People’s Welfare Front was voted to power, it will take all steps to end farmers’ problems relating to loans.
TMC leader GK Vasan also called for waiver of farm loans, besides seeking a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for Arumugam’s family.