THANJAVUR: DMK president M.K. Stalin on Wednesday appealed to the Union Government to use the Rs 1.76 lakh crore surplus money taken from the Reserve Bank of India to write off the loans taken by the farmers.
“The Central government should write off all the farm loans across the country using the Rs 1,76,000 lakh crore taken from the Reserve Bank,” said the DMK chief while addressing a seminar on Cauvery, here on Wednesday.
Stalin said his party was not against ‘development’, but development should not be at the cost of welfare of people.
Speaking at a seminar on ‘Cauvery’, Stalin said, “The Central government has launched twin attacks on Tamil Nadu. One is a chemical attack and a cultural attack.” Citing the proposed hydrocarbon project in the Cauvery delta as ‘chemical attack’, which is aimed at destroying land, cultivation and farmers, he cited the imposition of Hindi as ‘cultural attack’.
“Tamil Nadu should be protected from these twin attacks, and DMK is capable of fighting these attacks,” he said.
Stalin said that the DMK has been consistently opposing the hydrocarbon project in the delta region as it would affect the people, even more the farmers, in the state. He declared that the proposed hydrocarbon project, the Salem eight-lane expressway, are all projects that go against the people and farmers, and hence, the oppostion from the DMK.
“We will oppose any project that would affect the people. But we are dubbed as a party that stands against all development activities of the Central government,” he explained.
He said that both the state and Central governments are enacting a drama with respect to the proposed hydrocarbon project. While Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan says in Parliament that only hydrocarbon project is implemented in Tamil Nadu and not Methane, State law minister Shanmugham says in Tamil Nadu legislative assembly that the State will not permit hydrocarbon project.
“Is this not a drama, and does not this amount to cheating the people,” Stalin asked.
He stressed the need to protect Cauvery delta as a protected ‘Agro Zone’. Tracing the history of Cauvery water issue, he said that Karnataka is not implementing the Supreme Court’s order to release 177.25 tmc of water.
The Tamil Nadu government is also not keen in getting its due share of water for Tamil Nadu. The Central government which should ensure Karnataka released water, remained a silent spectator because it is interested in Karnataka and not in Tamil Nadu, Stalin rued.
Only the surplus water is now being released by Karnataka after the rains there. The situation is grim in Tamil Nadu with farmers suicides, farm labourers migration and such issues.
“Cauvery issue is not related only to Thanjavur or the Cauvery delta, but to the whole of Tamil Nadu. If Thanjavur is in danger, then Tamil Nadu is in danger (Thanjaikku aapathu endral, Tamil Nadukku Aapathu),” he said. He also said that it is our right to ask for Cauvery water and it is the duty of Karnataka to provide it.
S Ranganathan, secretary, Cauvery delta farmers welfare association, S.S. Palani Manickam MP, K.N. Nehru, former state minister, Durai Chandrasekaran MLA, K.P. Ramalingam, former MP and state secretary of farmers wing of DMK, A.K.S. Vijayan, former MP, Shanmugham, state secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasaysigal Sangam, affiliated to CPI(M), also spoke.