Salem: About 30 lakh to 40 lakh primary milk society producers under the cooperative ‘Aavin’ fold in Tamil Nadu declared on Friday they would be constrained to “boycott” the April 18 Lok Sabha elections and by-polls to the Assembly constituencies if political parties continued to ignore their demands.
After the state executive committee meeting of the Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Welfare Association here, its president K A Sengottuvel said they would support only that party in the coming elections which assure in their poll manifesto to redress their long-pending charter of demands.
“So far no political party, either in poll manifesto or in a statement, have said anything on addressing the genuine demands of the primary milk producers and dairy farmers,” Sengottuvel told reporters. Their key demands include the State government hiking the procurement of cow’s milk by Rs.10 a litre and buffalo’s milk by Rs.15 a litre, additional incentive for milk producers under the cooperative fold and inclusion of milk in the menu of the Puratchi Thalaivar MGR nutritious noon meal programme run by the government in all its schools.
Mr. Sengottuvel said to press their demands, there would be a state-wide hoisting of black flags atop houses of the cooperative milk producers on April 9. If political parties continued to ignore their demands even after that, they would en bloc boycott the coming elections, he warned. Residents of the hill station of Yercaud, 20 km from Salem, have also threatened to boycott the LS polls with posters appearing to that effect there.
TOURISTS BANNED ENTRY INTO KOLLI HILLS: Meanwhile, in Kolli hills in nearby Namakkal district, authorities have clamped a ban on entry of tourists in view of a raging forest fire in Kollimalai hills since Thursday.
Though the fire has been brought under control by Forest department, Revenue and Fire brigade personnel, the Namakkal collector, Dr Asia Mariam, after inspecting the affected areas on Friday, announced the ban on entry of domestic and other tourists in the interests of safety. Forest officials are keeping a vigil to ensure that the fire does not spread to other areas, said DFO Ms. R. Kanchana. Ends....