Chennai, Jan 8: Expressing concern over deaths of farmers in the backdrop of monsoon failure in Tamil Nadu, DMK Working President M K Stalin today urged the state government to implement relief measures on 'war-footing' and take steps to prevent further fatalities of ryots.
Without naming anybody, he took exception to some Ministers' remarks that not all of the farmers' deaths can be attributed to drought, pointing out at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issuing notice to the state on the death of 106 farmers. Stalin, also the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, urged Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to ensure that his Ministers did not make such comments, as these "belittle" the deceased farmers.
"I insist that the Chief Minister should take steps to prevent further deaths and implement relief works on war-footing," Stalin said in a statement. He also demanded that the government release details pertaining to the farmers' deaths, which occurred due to "suicide and of shock." Panneerselvam had last week assured that his government will provide appropriate relief to farmers on account of drought and has deputed his Ministers and senior officials besides District Collectors to take stock of the situation and file reports on the status of crops and drought.
Panneerselvam's cabinet colleagues, besides officials, are currently visiting affected areas and have been meeting farmers and other stakeholders. The Chief Minister had last week said that based on the field reports, an announcement will be made on the drought situation and that all necessary relief will be given. Stalin himself had on Jan 4 met Panneerselvam along with a DMK delegation at the state secretariat and discussed various issues, including farmers' deaths.