Kerala Assembly passes resolution against 3 farm laws

Kerala Assembly passes resolution against Centre's three farm laws

The resolution was moved in a one-hour special session

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Credit: PTI Photo

The Kerala Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution against the Centre's farm laws on the grounds  that the laws were aimed at helping corporates to monopolise the farming sector and should be withdrawn.

Lone BJP MLA in the house O Rajagopal, who spoke in favour of the farm laws in the house, however, kept off from disagreeing with the resolution during the voice voting. Hence it was passed unanimously. He later told reporters that he was agreeing with the resolution considering the general consensus, but expressed his disagreement with certain interpretations of the issues.

Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) backed the resolution that was moved by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urging Centre to withdraw the laws and extending support to the ongoing farmers' stir.

O Rajagopal said during the discussion in the house that the new laws were aimed at helping farmers by eliminating middlemen and allowing farmers to sell their produce anywhere. The BJP MLA said that the Opposition parties were blindly opposing any initiatives taken by Narendra Modi. "The allegations that Modi was not willing for talks with the agitating farmers were untrue. The farmers were insisting on withdrawing the farm laws before discussions," said Rajagopal.

The Chief Minister said that if the farmers' stir continues, it would badly affect food grain supply to states like Kerala. He accused that the Centre passed the laws without holding discussions with states as the laws would affect the states. The Centre was keeping away from the responsibility of ensuring minimum support price for commodities. The new laws would not help farmers but only corporates. The laws had triggered a strong concern among farmers as it would have a serious impact on the farming sector. It would lead to black-marketing. Instead of corporatising, the Centre should initiate steps like decentralised procurement, said Vijayan.

He also said that the Kerala government already initiated several steps like minimum support price to 16 vegetables and highest support price for paddy to help the farmers. Paddy production in the state also increased by 36,000 hectares to 2.32 lakh hectares now. The options of a law as an alternative to the Centre's farm laws were also being considered, Vijayan said.

Even while backing the resolution, the opposition UDF flayed that the government did not strongly criticise Governor Arif Mohammed Khan who initially declined nod to state government's recommendation to convene a special session of the Assembly. Deputy leader of Opposition K C Joseph said that the Governor's action was a challenge to the Constitution. He also said that the government should have convened the special session much earlier.

Joseph's suggestion to specifically flay Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the resolution was rejected by the ruling Left Front with the Chief Minister citing that the Centre was criticised in it.