In what appears to be a shocking turn of events, Tamil Nadu farmer Ayyakannu, who is the founder and state president of Desiya Thenninthiya Nathigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam (National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturist Association), has claimed that it was DMK and Congress alliance which instigated him to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
Ayyakannu, who led a prolonged farmers’ protest in New Delhi in support of the demands in 2017, had earlier said that he and 110 farmers would file nominations in Varanasi on April 24 to highlight the plight of farmers. He had also threatened that farmers would smear their bodies with ash like the Aghoris and go naked on a procession to raise funds to file the nominations.This came after his recent meeting with BJP President Amit Shah in Delhi, who had made promises to look into the farmers issues highlighted by them.
“We had fruitful discussions with Mr. Shah on our demands, which we had sent to the BJP and the Congress. He agreed to take steps to fulfil most of our demands. In deference to his request, we have now decided not to field candidates in Varanasi,” P. Ayyakannu, president of the association, told The Hindu over telephone on his way back to Tiruchi from New Delhi.
“Though they ignored us when we staged a protest in New Delhi for 141 days, they showed due respect to us and called us for talks. We felt we should reciprocate,” Mr. Ayyakannu said.