Congress to hold protests against Farm Act

The law will cripple the public distribution system: TNCC chief

Updated - October 20, 2020 06:28 am IST

Published - October 19, 2020 08:47 pm IST - Theni

TNCC president K.S. Alagiri arrested by police in Theni on Monday.

TNCC president K.S. Alagiri arrested by police in Theni on Monday.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri on Monday said the party would hold demonstrations in all districts condemning the Central and State governments for introduction of the Farm Act.

The TN Youth Congress cadre had planned to hold a tractor rally in the district. However, police denied permission and warned that the tractors would be seized.

Condemning the police for the ‘threat’, Mr. Alagiri said the Congress wanted to express its protest in a democratic way. The denial by the police was not only autocratic but also against democratic norms.

Later, when the cadre assembled at Palanichettipatti and decided to march to Jawaharlal Nehru statue and garland it, police arrested the leaders including Mr. Alagiri, working president Mayura Jayakumar, AICC secretary Jebi Mether, Youth Congress president J.M. Hassan Moulana and Theni district Congress president Murugesan.

The cadre resorted to a road blockade in protest against the arrest. A large posse of police personnel was deployed in the vicinity to ensure that there were no untoward incidents.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Alagiri said the Congress had implemented numerous programmes for the welfare of farmers in the country. However, the BJP brought in laws to wind up the agriculture sector.

He blamed the AIADMK government for supporting the Farm Act. The AIADMK leaders were interested only in power and did not care for farmers, he said.

Mr. Alagiri said the BJP was keen to support and protect select corporate houses in the country. Over a period of time, the Farm Act would cripple the public distribution system and the prices of essential commodities might go up.

The wrong policies of the Centre had destroyed BSNL, he added.

If the Centre was so keen to protect ryots, why did it not mention the minimum support price (MSP) in the Bill while tabling it in Parliament, he asked. Even when it was hurriedly sent for the President’s assent, the Congress members raised the omission inside and outside Parliament. The Prime Minister’s statement that the MSP was mentioned in the Act was misleading.

Very soon, there would be a change in the governments, he said and appealed to the cadre to be prepared to work towards a new regime.

The arrested leaders were released later in the evening, police said.

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