Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan called the farmers’ agitation is one of epic proportions.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presenting resolution at the Assembly demanding withdrawal of farm bills PC/Manorama News Screenshot
news Politics Thursday, December 31, 2020 - 11:29

A special session of the Kerala Assembly passed a unanimous resolution seeking the Union government to withdraw the three contentious farm laws on Thursday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while presenting the resolution at the Assembly session described the farmers’ agitation in New Delhi demanding the withdrawal of the laws, as one of epic proportions. Pinarayi termed the farm laws pro-corporate and anti-farmer.

“The country's capital is witnessing an epic agitation of the farmers. There is outstanding will behind this agitation and is something that wasn’t visible in the recent past. It’s a pro corporate and anti-farmer farm laws that the Union government passed in the Parliament.  It's in the chilling winter of Delhi that the farmers rally behind the grand protest. Farming in our country is not solely a producing sector but part of our culture. Hence the reforms at the farm sector should be conceived and implemented with extra vigil,” Pinarayi said.

The general emotion of the session was that the laws will not solely affect the farmers but the food security of the country as well. However, the sole BJP MLA O Rajagopal, said, “The farm laws are aimed at protecting the farmers, enabling them to sell their produce anywhere in the country without the intervention of middlemen." He later told the media that the resolution was supported unanimously and he did not oppose it. 

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) has 91 members in the 140-member Assembly. “In many parts of the country, the falling support price of farm produce and farmers' suicide became a huge social issue. At this phase, the government should declare more support price for the farmers. It's at a time when the farm sector is going through a big crisis that the farm laws were passed. When the government withdrew from procurement and distribution, hoarding and black market would become rampant. The negotiating power of the farmers would get weak in front of the corporates. And the farmers don't have the ability to challenge the corporates legally,” said Pinarayi.

Supporting the resolution, KC Joseph represented the Congress in the absence of Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala who couldn’t make it to the Assembly owing to health issues.

“The legislative bodies denied the opportunity to discuss the farm bills. The Union government is bound to address this. The concerns of the farmers that the farm laws would destroy the traditional marketing places - mandis - for corporates are just. The Assembly registers stern opposition on this," KC Joseph said. “Why is the Prime Minister not ready for talks despite the farmers being on protests for days,” Joseph asked.

He also lashed out at the Kerala government for not holding the session earlier and neither for passing a bill to stop the applicability of the laws in the state as done by Congress-ruled states. In October, Punjab became the first state to reject the Union government’s farm laws by passing four bills to counter the Centre’s. This was followed by Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had initially refused to give permission to hold the session which the government planned to hold on December 23.

Also Read: Kerala Governor gives nod to special Assembly session on farm laws on Dec 31

Kerala Guv denies permission for special session of Assembly on farm laws

Watch CM presenting the resolution 

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