THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Adhering to Covid-19 protocols in place, Kerala Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution against the farm laws enacted by the Centre. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tabled a resolution to reject the Centre’s recent farm laws amendment in the special assembly session convened.
Though the lone BJP MLA O Rajagopal spoke against the resolution in the assembly, the resolution was passed unanimously by the Speaker, triggering a row that the BJP MLA has voted in support of the resolution. It is yet to clear if there was any goof-up the voting or the BJP MLA deliberately voted in favour of the resolution.
The nod to convene the assembly session was given by Governor Arif Mohamed Khan after days long tussle between the state government.
Chief Minister, while tabling the resolution, said the farm laws are against the interest of farmers and the state in total. He also stressed the need to withdraw the laws forthwith.
While stating that new farm laws will be enacted by the state in the light of amendments by the Centre, the chief minister refused to criticize Prime Minister in more strong terms in the resolution as demanded by the Opposition. The chief minister in reply to the demand of the Opposition said the resolution has criticized the policy of Centre and the office of the Prime Minister several times and there is no need to flay the Prime Minister separately.
"If the farmers' agitation continues further it would severely hit the consumer state like Kerala badly. Hence the resolution moved by the state government asked the Centre to annul the amendments it made to the farm laws. The Centre has enacted the laws in haste without consulting the farmers or seeking the response of various states. The amendment to farm law is not only against the interest of farmers but in favour of the Corporate," said Pinaryi Vijayan.
"If the Centre withdraws itself from procurement and distribution network, it would lead to hoarding of goods and give rise to black marketing. The Centre's decision to remove cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, will worsen the situation in the coming days. Further, the new amendment allows the Centre to withdraw itself from providing the support price to the agriculture commodities which will have a long-lasting impact on the farm sector," he said.
In the absence of Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala in the House, K C Joseph from Congress spoke in the House supporting the resolution. But he criticized the state government act of kneeling down in front of Governor for convening the session. A majority government can convene assembly sessions and the Governor has no right to thwart the right of an elected government, Joseph said.
Earlier, the Governor had turned down the first proposal of the government to convene the session saying he was not convinced about the urgency of the state government to hold such a session. Later he had given permission after the Speaker and chief minister's office reached out to him.
The Governor addressed the House when the Assembly began in the morning and termed the strike carried out by the farmers in Delhi as an unparalleled.