Stalin slams Modi over farmers issue, ask him to repeal laws

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Chennai, Dec 23 (PTI) DMK chief M K Stalin on Wednesday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the continuing agitation by farmers in Delhi, accusing him of not taking steps to end their nearly a month long protest.

Also charging Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami with betraying farmers by backing the Centre's new farm laws, he alleged the laws would wreck the livelihoods of farmers.

Launching the first of the over 16,000 'grama sabhas' planned by his party under its 'werejectadmk' campaign in the run-up to the assembly polls at a nearby village, he said 'action' would be initiated against Palaniswami and other Ministers over alleged corruption once DMK returned to power.

He hit out at arch-rival AIADMK for supporting the passage of the Bills in Parliament.

Farmers have observed hunger strike and were continuing their protest for over 25 days despite the severe cold wave conditions in the national capital region.

'Families of farmers who arrive in tractors, cook and eat on the spot of protest. They have put tents. They protest alongwith their children. Did Prime Minister Narendra Modi invite them for talks with him? Did he take steps for resolving the issue. No,' he claimed.

He appealed to Modi to announce the repeal of the three farm laws, make the farmers joyous and shield agriculture, saying it is the country's backbone.

Assembly elections are likely during April-May in Tamil Nadu and parties including the AIADMK, DMK and Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam have already hit the campaign trail.

Turning the focus on AIADMK, Stalin, the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, alleged the state government's new initiative of mini clinics was introduced for 'looting' and did not benefit the people.

'These are not run properly. There are no doctors or nurses. It will be sufficient if the Primary Health Centres are revamped and there is no need for such clinics.' Palaniswami had days ago rolled out the Amma Mini Clinic Scheme under which 2,000 neighbourhood clinics, are in the process of getting operationalised soon across Tamil Nadu. He also inaugurated clinics here and elsewhere.

The AIADMK government indulged in 'plundering' even the funding to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, Stalin alleged in his address to the people of Kunnam panchayat in Kancheepuram district, launching the outreach campaign.

The DMK top leader, pointing to his petition to Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Tuesday seeking initiation of prosecution against Palaniswami and his Cabinet colleagues for 'corruption,', said if it was not done, his party would approach the judiciary.

'In case Governor hesitates to act, we will for sure approach the court and not only that, when DMK assumes power with your blessings, we will do it (action against Palaniswami and his Cabinet colleagues) and it will be the first task,' he said.

The AIADMK has already rejected the charges levelled by the DMK.

Rubbishing the allegations, Palaniswami on Tuesday accused the DMK of seeking cheap publicity by peddling lies and slander and said such gimmicks had all along been followed by the main opposition party.

The DMK, which already has an ongoing campaign, the 'Vidiyalai Nokki Stalinin Kural' (Voice of Stalin towards dawn) said its 'werejectadmk' campaign would cover about 16,500 village panchayats across the state over a span of 10 days starting December 23.

Its leaders would lead the rural campaign, (which the party called 'Gram Sabha Meetings') aimed at highlighting the alleged misgovernance of the AIADMK regime in their respective regions, according to the DMK.

A resolution 'werejectadmk' proposed by Stalin was later adopted. PTI VGN VS VS