Kerala has more to lose by not supporting farmers’ protests: CM Vijayan on Farmers’ Day
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on Wednesday, said that the state is supporting the farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm laws in Delhi. He was inaugurating the anti-farm laws protest in Thiruvananthapuram today, which coincidently happens to be Farmers’ Day.
“Kerala stands in solidarity with the farmers. Day by day, the protests are receiving more support from the public,” Vijayan said, adding that the central government should listen to farmers’ demands and repeal the three laws.
He said that Kerala has more to lose by not supporting it. “Many are questioning what Kerala achieves from protesting against farm laws. If food scarcity hits the country, Kerala will be impacted severely as it is a consumer state. This is the reason for Kerala participating in this protest,” Vijayan said.
Vijayan also criticised the central government for the not respecting farmers and the treatment they have been receiving. “The country is currently witnessing a historic protest. Farmers have organised some of the biggest protests in the country. Kerala has also witnessed such massive protests. Farmers are our annadata and the current central government is not respecting them,” said the Chief Minister, adding that the Centre was giving importance to only corporates.
Taking more potshots at the BJP-led central government, Vijayan said that despite the Bharatiya Janata Party promising, on multiple occasions in the past, the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations, the party only remembers it ahead of elections.
The Chief Minister wasn’t alone showing his solidarity to the farmers. Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders such as CPI (M) state secretary A Vijayaraghavan, CPI leader Pannyan Raveendran, JD(S)’s Mathew T Thomas, Kerala Congress (M)’s Jose K Mani, ministers VS Sunil Kumar, EP Jayarajan, J Mercykutty Amma, and AK Saseendran, among others were present at the protest.
It is important to note that the Vijayan’s farmers address comes a day after Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan turned down the state government’s request to convene a special Assembly session to discuss and pass a resolution against the three farm laws. The Governor’s move took the LDF government and the opposition (UDF) by surprise with some senior leaders calling it undemocratic. However, the state BJP unit lauded the Governor’s move to decline the government’s proposal stating that it was unconstitutional of Kerala Assembly to pass a resolution against three laws passed in the Parliament and accepted by the President.
Meanwhile, many non-BJP state chief ministers have also come out in support of the farmers. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to the protesting farmers earlier today, assuring them her support. She also sent a five-member delegation constituting of Derek O’Brien, Pratima Mondal, Nadimul Haque, Prasun Banerjee and Satabdi Roy, to meet and interact with farmers at Singhu Border in Delhi. Various leaders from other states have slammed the Centre for ignoring the farmers’ plight on Farmers Day.
Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has hinted that the Centre will not be rolling back the three farm laws. During an interaction with the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia on the farm law issues, Singh said, “We are currently passing through a process where there is a tendency to make fun of the reform first, then oppose it and then accept it.”