The Tamil Nadu Assembly on August 28 adopted a resolution against the farm laws enacted by the Union government and demanded that these three “anti-farmer and anti-federal” laws be repealed. In south India, the Kerala and Puducherry assemblies had passed similar resolutions.
Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, who proposed the resolution, said that the three farm laws will not help in the development of agriculture in the country or the welfare of the farmers and hence these have to be repealed. The three farm laws are: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
“Independent India has not witnessed an agitation of this nature or this duration,” the Chief Minister said, referring to the continuing farmers’ agitation in Delhi against the farm laws. “The question ‘Is this the importance given to people’s voice by a government elected by the people,’ remains. In this situation, we have the duty to fully oppose the three farm laws,” Stalin said. He pointed out that the Union government enacted the laws unilaterally in a State subject without consultations with any State. This was against the concept of cooperative federalism, he added.
The main opposition, the AIADMK, staged a walkout after its request that the State should wait till the Supreme Court completed hearing in the matter was not acceded to. The AIADMK alleged that the government had forced it to support the resolution and staged a walkout. Its ally, the BJP, which has four members in the House, also staged a walkout attributing “ulterior motives” to the resolution. Explaining the AIADMK predicament, Minister Durai Murugan, told the Assembly that the AIADMK was forced to stage a walkout because its lone Lok Sabha member, O.P. Raveendranath, had supported the laws. Now, if the AIADMK supported the resolution against the laws, it would look odd because the son supported the farm laws while the father (O. Panneerselvam, deputy leader of the opposition) opposed the very same laws. Another AIADMK ally, the Pattali Makkal Katchi, stayed in the House.
Stalin also announced the withdrawal of all cases which were registered in Tamil Nadu as a result of the protest against the farm laws in various parts of the State. He made this announcement after two MLAs, T. Velmurugan and M.H. Jawahirullah, requested the government to withdraw the cases.