After nude protest, Tamil Nadu farmers eat rice off road

"We can't lose hope. We will continue our agitation till our demands are met," said Ayyakkannu, leader of the farmers.

There seems to be no end to the Tamil Nadu farmer agitation after 29 days of protesting at Jantar Mantar. From demonstrating naked in front of the Prime Minister's Office to putting rats in their mouth, these farmers are finding every possible way to stay in the news and put pressure on the central government.

"Political parties are asking us to call off our protest because of the way we agitated outside the PMO. We can't lose hope. We will continue our agitation until our demands are met," said Ayyakkannu, leader of the farmers.

On Tuesday, the farmers sat on the road at Jantar Mantar and ate rice off the ground. This is a ritual which is observed in temples mostly. It is an act of prayer asking help from the gods. "We flourish in life from nature and now we eat from nature. We have nothing to lose. We will sit here and pray till our death," said a protesting farmer.

Thiruchi Shiva, a DMK MP raised the farmer issue in Parliament today, asking the Centre to convince the farmers to call off the protest. He also met the farmers later in the day.

Premlata Vijayakanth, wife of Captain Vijayakanth of the DMDK also met the farmers and ate with them on the road. "Centre and the state should not be blind to their struggle. I will try to get an appointment with the PM and will convince the farmers to call off their protest. Yesterday's protest was extreme and pathetic and should not be encouraged," she added on the protesters running nude in front of the PMO.

The farmers have been living near Jantar Mantar for almost a month now. They eat, sleep and bath at Jantar Mantar. Many farmers have gone back home to Tamil Nadu as they fell sick and many more have joined the protest. However, the farmers claim that they will not budge until the Centre adheres to their demands, which include a complete waiver of loans and a Rs 40,000 crore drought relief package.

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