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Opinion

Kerala’s only BJP MLA backs assembly resolution against farm laws

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The unanimous resolution passed by Kerala’s legislative assembly on Thursday against the three agricultural laws of the Union government received the support of an unexpected sector, the only member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) O Rajagopal.

The nonagenarian leader, who was Minister of State for Railways in the Vajpayee government, spoke out against the resolution in the chamber initially, but when it was put to the vote he did not go on strike and supported it much to the surprise of the treasury and the opposition. . banks. After the session, when asked by journalists about it, he said that he supported the resolution in accordance with the “democratic spirit of the house.”

“I stated my disagreement in clear terms. But I supported the substance of the resolution in accordance with the democratic spirit. There is nothing great about it, in a democracy such commitments are common, “he said. When specifically asked if he wanted to withdraw these bills, he gave a roundabout response saying that is why he supported the resolution. He said compromise was the essence of democracy and that the ongoing farmer agitation will be amicably resolved soon.

The veteran’s “ambiguous” position has put the party, which has described the resolution as “a mere waste of time and money”, in a spicy situation. “There is no difference of opinion in the game. He is a senior leader and we do not believe that he supports the resolution. I’ll talk to him about this, ”said state party chairman K Surendran. In Delhi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs V Muraleedharan from the state said he was not aware of what the main leader said at the house and that the state unit will explain it.

But leaders close to the veteran said he was quite unhappy with the growing dispute in state unity. After Surendran’s rise, some of the top leaders were marginalized and the party’s attempt to negotiate peace between two prominent factions, one led by V Muraleedharan and the other by leader PK Krishnadas, has so far failed to produce any results. “His position literally shocked the party. The central leadership is also unhappy with that, ”said another leader who did not want to be quoted.

After the issue sparked controversy, the leader later said he was wrong to say he did not oppose the resolution and blamed the Speaker of the House for failing to split votes in the House. But his explanation was more ambiguous as his position on the controversial issue.

The main leader had also previously stirred controversy. During the Speaker election in 2016, he supported LDF nominee P Sreeramakrishnan and later said he supported him because his name bore both Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.

Having had a good opportunity to embarrass the BJP, many leftist leaders have praised O Rajagopal. “He made the right decision without considering its consequences,” said state Finance Minister Thomas Issac, praising him.

Hours earlier, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presented the resolution urging the Center to withdraw the new laws and pay attention to farmers who were organizing a protest for more than a month. “The Center wants to corporatize the agricultural sector. It must be presented to allay farmers’ fears. The whole country is with them. It must recognize public sentiment and withdraw the new laws, ”said the CM.

He said that if the situation continues like this, the supply of basic products to consumer states like Kerala will be affected. “Farmers continue their activity in the cold winter. Some of them have also lost their lives. Their problems must be addressed as soon as possible, ”he said. Later, all 140 members of the assembly supported his resolution.

These laws are the Agricultural Products Trade and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act of 2020, the Farmers Agreement (Empowerment and Protection) on Price Guarantee and Agricultural Services of 2020, and the Essential Products (Amendment) Act of 2020. But they sparked protests in Delhi and in many places. Farmers say these reforms will make them vulnerable to exploitation by large corporations, erode their bargaining power and weaken the government’s procurement system.

The previous governor, Arif Mohammad Khan, had denied permission to convene the house on December 24, sparking a controversy. Later, the Speaker and two ministers called him with a new recommendation and he agreed. The deputy leader of Congress, KC Joseph, has criticized the governor’s decision, saying the government was forced to bow to him on several occasions, but the CM denied it. The state assembly passed a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in August.

Hindustan Times

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