Over 30,000 farm workers petitioned the district collectors across the state urging to increase work days under MGNREGS to 200 days and daily wage to Rs 400 as part of the protest organised by the All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU).
V Amirthalingam, state secretary of AIAWU which is affiliated to the CITU, said that there are over 35 lakh families living across the state in the villages without patta in an unhygienic condition. “Despite the state government promising to provide pattas to the homeless poor, it was not yet fulfilled,” he said in a statement.
He also demanded the state government to provide pension for all those who are above 60 years under the farmer’s protection scheme without involving the middlemen from the ruling party. Besides, he urged the state government to fulfil its promise of building one lakh houses for those affected by Cyclone Gaja.
The protests were held in over 150 places, including district collector and tahsildar offices across the state.
He alleged that the attempts were made to disrupt the protest organised by the union with the revenue officials making announcements of distributing patta and pension on the eve of the protest. At Kanniyakumari district, the protest was led by CPM politburo member G Ramakrishnan while in Cuddalore the AIAWU national president S Thirunavukarasu led the protest.