Kerala Assembly unanimously passes resolution against three central farm laws
In a one-day special session, Kerala's Legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution against the three contentious central farm laws cleared by the Parliament in September. The resolution, moved by CM Pinarayi Vijayan, sought the withdrawal of these laws and demanded genuine concerns of farmers be addressed. Thousands of farmers have been protesting these new laws for over a month at Delhi's borders.
What are the three laws that farmers are protesting?
The three farm laws that the protesting farmers are opposing include the newly enacted Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Farmers are protesting to scrap all three laws: Vijayan
"When the agricultural sector is facing a major crisis, the central government has introduced and passed three new laws...that will have a major impact," said Vijayan. "The capital is witnessing the legendary struggle of the farmers. There is a great will behind this protest that has not been seen until recently. Farmers are protesting to scrap all the three laws," the CM added.
'Kerala could not bear the impact of such a situation'
"Especially at this stage of the COVID-19, Kerala could not bear the impact of such a situation (sic)," said Vijayan, expressing concerns over the impact of the ongoing crisis in the farm sector. He also said that when the country is facing a difficult situation, it is the duty of his state government to stand with the protesting farmers.
These laws were passed in a hurry, says Kerala CM
"It is a serious problem that these important laws were passed in a hurry without even being sent to the Standing Committee of Parliament," Vijayan said, attacking the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. "In view of the above facts, it is reasonable for the farmers...to protest. The Kerala Assembly is urging the central government to scrap all the three laws," he added.
'All three laws will only help big corporate houses'
Vijayan said farmers are concerned about losing the minimum support price (MSP) because of the new laws, adding, "All three laws will only help big corporate houses." "There should be a system where agricultural products are procured by the central government and distributed to the needy at fair prices. Instead, it has allowed corporates to take over the trade in agricultural products," he said.
Kerala will starve if farmers' agitation continues: CM
Vijayan further said that if the farmers' protests continue, Kerala will be badly hit. He said, "If agriculture produce stops coming to a consumer state like Kerala, the state will be pushed towards hunger." "If this agitation continues, it will seriously affect Kerala. There is no doubt that Kerala will starve if the supply of food items from other states stops," the CM added.
Resolution cleared unanimously in Kerala Assembly
Notably, the resolution was passed unanimously in the Kerala Assembly. Even the lone BJP MLA, O Rajagopal, didn't reportedly object during the vote. The Congress-led United Democratic Front opposition also backed the agitating farmers. "The Prime Minister speaks on TV and casts aspersions on farmers. He should have called the farmers and spoken to them. I salute our farmers," said Congress leader KC Joseph.