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Kerala becomes 5th state to pass resolution against farm laws: Top developments | India News

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NEW DELHI: With the lone BJP MLA abstaining from voting, the Kerala assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution demanding withdrawal of the three farm laws. With this Kerala became the fifth state in the country to pass a resolution in their respective assemblies to oppose the agri laws.
Before Kerala, four states – all of them non-BJP-ruled – have passed resolutions opposing the farm laws. While three of them – Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan – are ruled by the Congress, the fourth – Delhi, is ruled by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. The Delhi chief minister triggered a controversy by tearing copies of the farm laws during the special session.
Here are the key developments of the day:
1. Expressing solidarity with the agitating farmers in Delhi, the Kerala assembly unanimously passed a resolution demanding the immediate withdrawal of the three contentious central laws, saying they were “anti-farmer” and “pro-corporate” and would push the farming community into a deep crisis. Moving the resolution, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan alleged that the central laws have been amended to help the corporates. The centre had presented and passed the three agriculture laws in Parliament at a time when the agriculture sector was facing a severe crisis, he said. “The three contentious agri laws were passed even without sending them to the standing committee of Parliament. If this agitation continues, it will severely affect Kerala, which is a consumer state,” he said.
2. In a rare gesture, not only the legislators of the ruling CPI(M)-headed LDF and Congress-led UDF, but the lone BJP member in the 140-member state assembly, O Rajagopal, also supported the resolution against the centre, saying “it is the democratic spirit”. However, he later issued a statement claiming that he opposed the state government’s resolution. Initially, Rajagopal opposed some of the references in the resolution, which was presented in a nearly two-hour-long special session convened in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. He first told the media that he “did not object to the general consensus” in Kerala assembly regarding farm laws issued a statement later stating that he argued that the central government was always ready for talks and “opposed the resolution” adopted by the assembly. “I have strongly opposed the resolution against farm laws today in the assembly. I did not oppose the central government. I said that the farm laws were very beneficial to the farmers. When ruling and opposition MLAs alleged that the Prime Minister was not negotiating with the farmers, I argued that the central government was always ready for the talks,” Rajagopal said in a statement. “I said that farmer unions stand that they would engage in dialogue only after withdrawing the farm laws is the reason for the protests to continue in a prolonged manner. The statements that I am against the central government are baseless,” he added. Rajagopal, who is MLA from Nemom constituency in Thiruvananthapuram, said that Congress had earlier included similar farm laws in its manifesto. Earlier, speaking to mediapersons after the assembly session, Rajagopal said he abstained from voting and did not oppose the resolution because people do not need to know these differences in opinions. “I support this resolution. During the discussion, I opposed certain references made in the resolution against the farm laws but I do not object to the general consensus reached by the House against the farm laws,” he said.
3. The Haryana Police used water cannon and tear gas as farmers on tractor-trailers broke through barricades at the Shahjahanpur border with Rajasthan, trying to push towards the national capital. While farmers on around 25 tractor-trailers pushed past the Haryana Police barriers, others stayed behind on the Rajasthan side of the Shahjahanpur-Rewari border, the police said. Farmer leaders at the site made clear that the protesters who forced their way into Haryana did not have their consent.
4. Thousands of farmers protesting at the Singhu border for over a month now will ring in the New Year sans any celebrations. “There is no New Year for us until the government accepts our demands,” said Harjinder Singh from Punjab’s Ropar, who has been camping at the Delhi-Haryana border since November 25. In the last round of talks on Wednesday, the government addressed the farmers’ concerns over the increasing power tariff and penalties for stubble burning, but that wasn’t good enough news to celebrate yet, said the farmers. Among the issues that continue to remain unresolved are the revocation of the new farm laws and a legal guarantee of the minimum support price for their crops. “Both the demands that they have agreed to were not laws yet. Their impact was yet to be felt. And we went to the government with the demands with clarity. They cannot pick and choose what suits them. They have to listen to all our demands,” said Harmesh Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Hoshiarpur. “If the government wants to see our strength, we will show them. People like us who are used to living in ‘kothis’ (bungalows) are now sleeping on the road. We have been protesting peacefully for a month, we can keep protesting for a year too,” added Bhupinder Singh, also from Hoshiarpur. Most farmers this year will be welcoming the New Year away from their families, but they are not complaining.
5. Thousands of farmers stayed put at their protest venues near Delhi’s border as their talks with the government remained deadlocked over the main contentious issues of the repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for MSP. Braving the winter chill, farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting at various borders of the national capital for more than a month against these three new laws. Security remained tight at the Delhi borders with hundreds of personnel deployed at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri border points where the farmers have been camping. The protests have also led to traffic congestion forcing police to divert vehicular movement. Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police alerted commuters about the routes that remained closed owing to the agitation and suggested them to take alternative roads. “Tikri, Dhansa Borders are closed for any Traffic Movement. Jhatikara Borders is open only for LMV (Cars/ Light Motor Vehicles), two wheelers and pedestrian movement,” it tweeted. “The Chilla and Ghazipur Borders are closed for traffic coming from Noida & Ghaziabad to Delhi because of farmer protests. Please take alternate route for coming to Delhi via Anand Vihar, DND, Apsara, Bhopra & Loni Borders. “Singhu, Auchandi,Piau Maniyari, Saboli & Mangesh borders closed. Please take alternate route via Lampur Safiabad, Palla & Singhu school toll tax borders.Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK road. Please avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road & NH-44,” they tweeted. “Available Open Borders to Haryana are Jharoda (Only Single Carriageway/Road), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH-8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera Borders,” the Delhi Traffic Police said in a tweet.

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