Some 5,000 farmers yesterday rallied in front of Government House against Newin Chidchob returning to the Agriculture Ministry, claiming he had failed to help solve their debt problems while he was deputy minister.
The representatives of farmers’ networks from some 50 provinces threatened to gather 100,000 signatures to seek Newin’s impeachment if Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra reappointed him as deputy minister or promoted him to minister.
Newin has been speculated as getting the agriculture portfolio for helping Thai Rak Thai Party secure its election victory.
The farmers gathered at the Royal Plaza at 9.30am before heading to Government House, where an open letter was submitted to Thaksin voicing their opposition to Newin’s taking over the Agriculture Ministry.
The leaders took turns criticising Newin for allegedly always opposing farmers’ debt restructuring by the Farmers Rehabili-tation Fund.
The group then moved on to demonstrate in front of the Agriculture Ministry.
The leaders said former agriculture minister Somsak Thepsuthin approved a budget of Bt700 million in November for the fund to restructure farmers’ debts, but Newin had so far done nothing.
Published on February 25, 2005