TN CM should apologise to farmers for supporting pro-corporate farm bills

  • The bills that have been passed would not only control inter-state trade, but also those within the states, he alleged, seeking to rebut the Chief Minister's statement
  • AIADMK's Rajya Sabha MP S R Balasubramoniyan opposed the Bills and this was comical after the party's support to it, he said

PTI
Updated20 Sep 2020
DMK President MK Stalin
DMK President MK Stalin(PTI)

DMK president M K Stalin on Sunday demanded that Chief Minister K Palaniswami "apologise" to farmers for supporting the farm bills of the BJP led government at the Centre, alleging these only protected corporates. On Palaniswami's argument that farmers would be protected from price fall, he said provisions like third party certification for quality of farm produce were aimed at "protecting corporate companies" and not to safeguard the interests of farmers.

The bills that have been passed would not only control inter-state trade, but also those within the states, he alleged, seeking to rebut the Chief Minister's statement that neither farmers markets nor regulated markets shall see any adverse effects. "These laws are detrimental to farmers market and regulated markets as well," Stalin claimed in a statement.

Referring to the Chief Minister's statement that Punjab opposed the initiative due to revenue loss and the scenario there does not match with that of Tamil Nadu, the DMK chief asked why Palaniswami did not argue on the revenue aspect for the state. Stalin claimed "history will not forgive" Palaniswami for taking pride in saying he was a farmer and yet supporting the "anti-farmer" and "pro-corporate" farm bills of the BJP-led Centre.

AIADMK's Rajya Sabha MP S R Balasubramoniyan opposed the Bills and this was "comical" after the party's support to it, he said. "The only option open to the Chief Minister is to apologise to the farmers, befitting the stature of his office," he said. On Saturday, Chief Minister Palaniswami asserted that the bills would benefit farmers from unexpected price fall and accused the DMK of opposing them for political reasons.

Today, the Rajya Sabha passed the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. A third bill, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that seeks to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onion, and potatoes from the list of essential commodities and will do away with the imposition of stock holding limits, is to be moved separately in the upper house. All three bills have already been passed by the Lok Sabha.

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