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Kerala to become 5th state to bypass centre’s farms laws | India News

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NEW DELHI: After a controversy, Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday gave his assent to the state government for convening a special session on December 31. The Pinarayi Vijayan government had earlier sought to convene a special session on December 23, which was declined by the governor. However, with the approval finally coming in, Kerala is on the path to passing a resolution against the contentious agri laws.
In the process, Kerala will become the fifth state to bypass the farm laws legislated by the Narendra Modi government in September.
The governor gave the assent for the session, days after the CPI(M)-led LDF government sent a fresh proposal to convene the assembly after he had turned down an earlier recommendation.
Even for the December 31 session, Khan sought some clarifications which the government provided.
The session would be for one hour and commence at 9 am, assembly sources told agencies.
In an unprecedented move, the governor had earlier declined nod for the special session on December 23 to discuss the contentious laws, saying chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had not addressed the question raised by him on the nature of emergency warranting the very brief session.
In a letter to Vijayan, Khan had also stated that the government wanted the special session to “discuss a problem for which you have no jurisdiction to offer any solution”.
Vijayan wrote a letter to Khan on Tuesday describing as regrettable his decision while asserting that the governor was bound by the advice of the council of ministers and that moving resolutions and conducting discussions in the assembly “cannot be regulated by gubernatorial powers”.
A day after the state cabinet on December 24 again decided to recommend convening of the session, state law minister AK Balan and Agricultural Minister VS Sunil Kumar had met Khan on Friday.
While Kerala will pass a resolution against the farm laws on December 31, four states – all of the non-BJP-ruled – have already done that.
While three – 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.
All these four states have passed their own laws in assemblies to bypass the Centre’s agri laws.
Meanwhile, the Centre on Monday invited 40 protesting farmer unions for the next round of talks on December 30 on all relevant issues to find a “logical solution” with an “open mind” to the prolonged impasse over the three new agri laws.
The invite for the resumption of the stalled talks came following a proposal made by the unions on Saturday to hold the sixth round on December 29 even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted his government will continue to work to strengthen farmers and agri sector with “full dedication.”
The unions have agreed “in-principle” to join the talks but insisted the agenda of the meeting should include discussing modalities for repealing the three legislations enacted in September that have remained the main demand.
As the number of farmers agitating at the protest epicenter Singhu border point in Delhi since November 28 swelled with new protesters joining the stir, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said a “wall of lies” has been spread in a “planned manner” among farmers against the agri laws, but it will not last long and the protesters will soon realise the truth. Tomar also said he is hopeful of an early solution to the impasse.
In a letter to the farmer unions, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal invited them for the talks at 2 pm on Wednesday at Vigyan Bhavan in the national capital. The last formal meeting took place on December 5, in which union leaders had demanded a clear ‘yes or no’ answer from the government for the repeal of the three farm laws.
Taking note of the unions’ offer to resume talks, Aggarwal said, “The government is also committed to finding a logical solution on all relevant issues with a clear intention and an open mind.”

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