Rajya Sabha member and chairman of the Swaminathan Foundation, M S Swaminathan, on Friday extended his support to Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu's indefinite hunger strike but requested him to call off the fast that was already into the eighth day.
"Farmers of the country need your leadership to safeguard their interests. You may be required to wage similar fights in future for the welfare of farmers. Hence, you should immediately end your indefinite hunger-strike and protect your health," Swaminathan said in a letter addressed to Naidu. The father of India's Green Revolution wished the former chief minister a "speedy recovery."
Meanwhile, in an open letter to farmers on Friday afternoon, the fasting TDP chief, who was being administered intravenous fluids at the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, urged them not to lose heart and resort to suicides. "After seven days of fast, the government forcibly shifted me to the Intensive Care Unit as I was physically not in a position to resist. It is shameful that the government, which showed great determination in shifting me to the ICU, did not display the same in resolving the farmers' problems," Naidu lamented.
The Andhra Pradesh government was not only remaining adamant but also mocking at the Opposition's demand for enhancement of compensation for calamity-hit farmers, he lashed out. Naidu said his fight for the cause of farmers has stirred a nationwide debate on the agriculture sector.
"Every political party in the country has not only extended support to our fight for justice but also talking about the plight of farmers and the steps to be taken to pull the crucial agriculture sector out of the crisis," he said.
The TDP chief vowed to continue his struggle and take it to its logical conclusion. "I appeal to the farmers not to lose heart at this critical juncture. Let us together carry our struggle forward for a brighter tomorrow," he added.