Tamil Nadu Assembly adopts special resolution against farm laws

Stalin says Central laws are against federal principles; while AIADMK, BJP walk out, their ally PMK, vote in favour of it.

Updated - August 29, 2021 02:14 am IST

Published - August 28, 2021 03:13 pm IST - CHENNAI

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin speaks in the Assembly on August 29, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin speaks in the Assembly on August 29, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement

The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on Saturday adopted a special resolution moved by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin that urged the Union government to repeal the three contentious farm laws . While legislators of the AIADMK and BJP walked out of the House opposing the resolution, their ally PMK, voted in favour of it.

The DMK government also announced that it would withdraw cases registered against farmer associations and political parties over their protests against these farm laws.

The resolution contended that The 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 were “not suitable” for agricultural development and farmers’ welfare and went on to urge the Union government to repeal them.

Speaker M. Appavu said with the support of all those present in the House, the special resolution was being adopted “unanimously.” Mr. Stalin said passing a resolution against the three farm laws was among the assurances made in the DMK’s Assembly election manifesto.

BJP floor leader Nainar Nagendran (Tirunelveli) announced that his party would stage a walk out of the House opposing the resolution but did not elaborate. PMK floor leader G.K. Mani (Pennagaram), who spoke after Mr. Nagendran, welcomed the resolution but urged the Centre to bring about amendments in these laws and also went on to urge the Union government to “reconsider” its decision about these laws.

BJP’s floor leader Nainar Nagendran along with party MLAs staged a walkout from the Assembly on Saturday

BJP’s floor leader Nainar Nagendran along with party MLAs staged a walkout from the Assembly on Saturday

 

AIADMK legislator and former Agriculture Minister K.P. Anbalagan contended that the three farm laws also had provisions that were pro-farmer and urged the DMK government against adopting a resolution in a hurry. Reading out from a prepared speech, Mr. Anbalagan said the State government should constitute a delegation of legislators to call on the Prime Minister to urge against provisions that may be against the interest of farmers.

When Mr. Stalin reiterated his request to the AIADMK to help adopt the resolution unanimously, AIADMK deputy floor leader O. Panneerselvam joined the debate to question whether the government had written any letter or consulted with the Union government on the objections it might have over the provisions of the three farm laws. Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami was not present during the debate on the resolution.

Leader of the House Duraimurugan intervened to say that these farm laws were enacted when the AIADMK was in power in Tamil Nadu and retorted, asking whether the AIADMK had written any letter to the Union government to clarify the issue. He went on to question, “Are you supporting or opposing the resolution which is in support of the protesting farmers? Please answer.”

Mr. Panneerselvam cited cases pending before the Supreme Court and contended that the State government has to consult with legal experts before adopting the resolution. When he went on to reiterate his party’s request for sending a delegation to meet the PM in this regard, Mr. Stalin intervened to say he had raised the issue with the PM during his visit to Delhi but there was no reply from the Union government as yet.

AIADMK legislator K.P. Anbalagan opposed the Bill in the introductory stage. Mr. Panneerselvam then contended that the ruling party had not accepted its suggestion and later led his party members in a walkout.

Earlier in the day, the government also tabled a Bill that seeks to repeal the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2019, which was enacted by the erstwhile AIADMK regime. The Bill moved by Agriculture Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam contended that Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1989 could be strengthened instead of bringing in an enactment for each mode of the marketing system.

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