CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday adopted a resolution, moved by Chief Minister MK Stalin, demanding the repeal of the Central’s government’s three agriculture-related legislation. With this, TN becomes the seventh state to pass a resolution against the farm laws after West Bengal, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, and Delhi.
Stalin also announced that all cases filed against the farmers and others who staged demonstrations against the three laws will be withdrawn. While the ruling DMK’s allies along with PMK, an AIADMK ally, supported the resolution, the principal Opposition party, the AIADMK, and the BJP staged a walkout. The resolution was adopted by voice vote.
Moving the resolution, Stalin said the three laws are against the welfare of farmers. He said the legislation did not speak about the Minimum Support Price for agriculture products at all.
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For the first time since Independence, the CM said farmers have been out on roads opposing the three laws for a long time. “So, we have the duty to oppose the legislation,” he said. The CM added that the Union government, against the federal principles, enacted the legislation without consulting States.
Speaking on the resolution, Deputy Leader of Opposition, O Panneerselvam, said, “The CM has stated only the negative impact of the laws and nothing on its positive side. The AIADMK always stands by the farmers. At the same time, we want to know if the State government got any clarification from the Centre over the pros and cons of the farm laws. It is a must to know before adopting such a resolution.” He further wondered if the State had sent any letter to the Centre on this matter.
AIADMK stages walkout
Responding to Panneerselvam’s remarks, the Chief Minister said that he had raised the issue when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June this year, but received no reply. “The resolution is aimed to protect the livelihood of the farmers. It should be adopted unanimously in the Assembly and the
AIADMK should extend their support,” said Stalin.
AIADMK MLA KP Anbazhagan said the government should convene an all-party meeting to elicit the views of the farmers of the State, and that the resolution was moved in haste. When the Leader of the House, Durai Murugan, asked if the AIADMK supported the resolution, Panneerselvam sidestepped
and put forth the same demand on knowing the pros and cons of the three laws. Later, the AIADMK staged a walkout.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam introduced a Bill to repeal the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2019, enacted during the previous AIADMK regime. He said the Act is being repealed to provide for a
more robust regulation.