Tamil Nadu govt to bring resolution against new farm legislation
Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin on Wednesday said that the government will bring a resolution in the assembly, asking the Centre to withdraw the three farm laws.
The statement coincided with various farmer unions holding a ‘black day’ protest across the country to mark six months of their agitation against the three laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
In this, Tamil Nadu will join several other non-BJP and non-NDA-led states, which have passed assembly resolutions opposing legislations promulgated through ordinances last year during the first wave of the pandemic. These include Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Kerala, and West Bengal, with the eastern state passing the resolution in January, two months before the assembly elections there.
A resolution for the rollback of the laws was an election promise of Stalin’s party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). The CM said that six months have passed but the Union government hasn’t tried to have a constructive dialogue with the farmers to resolve the issue or taken steps to revoke the three farm laws that were passed in haste. “This is a matter of concern,” he said.
The previous All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government, an ally of the BJP, had supported the legislation and continues to back it. “We supported the new laws because they allow the farmers to directly sell their produce through which they can gain more profits,” said AIADMK spokesperson C Vaigaichelvan.
But when asked if AIADMK will not back the resolution when it’s tabled in the assembly, Vaigaichelvan said the party will hold a meeting to arrive at a fresh decision.
Stalin drops cases against politicians in anti-Sterlite protests
The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday announced that it was withdrawing 38 cases against political leaders in connection with the anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi in May 2018 in which 13 people had been killed in police firing. This includes Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Vaiko, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founder T T V Dhinakaran, Communist Party of India leader R Nallakannu, and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam treasurer Premalatha Vijayakanth.
This was based on the recommendations by the Justice Aruna Jegadeesan commission in an interim report, the government said in a statement.
Last week, cases against the protesters were withdrawn, and 93 people were offered compensation.
However, cases against other protesters filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and those pending in the Supreme Court have not been withdrawn.
The protesters had been demanding the closure of a copper smelting factory owned by Vedanta when things turned violent on the 100th day, leading to police firing on May 22, 2018. A day later, the then AIADMK government appointed the Justice Jegadeesan committee to investigate the case and shut down the factory for environmental violations.