DMK president M.K. Stalin on Friday criticised the AIADMK government for supporting the three agriculture Bills introduced in Parliament by the Centre, and said Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami should stop calling himself a farmer in his public speeches.
“The DMK condemns the AIADMK for supporting the Bills in Parliament even while the BJP’s ally, Shiromani Akali Dal, opposed them and Harsimrat Kaur Badal [belonging to Shiromani Akali Dal] has resigned from the Ministry, but the AIADMK continues to support the Bills that are against the welfare of farmers,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Stalin said the Bills were aimed at enabling corporates to hoard agricultural products and would destroy the livelihood of farmers. “But the AIADMK supports these Bills, saying they will benefit farmers and give them protection. This is an unpardonable betrayal of farmers’ welfare by Mr. Palaniswami, who has already done a lot of damage to the livelihood of farmers,” he said.
He said the Bills went against the concept of federalism and infringed on the States’ rights over agriculture. “Asking farmers to provide PAN for selling their produce online is a conspiracy to bring them under the ambit of the Income Tax Department,” he said.
The Bills are against the concept of ‘Uzhavar Sandhai’ that were started in Tamil Nadu by the DMK government, he said. They would not pave the way for increasing income or providing relief to farmers affected by droughts, floods or other calamities.
He said the DMK opposed the Bills keeping in mind the BJP government’s “conspiracy” against farmers and the growth of agriculture. He accused the ruling AIADMK of trying to save its leaders from various cases and spend the remaining few months in office under the BJP’s protection.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri urged the BJP government to take back the three agriculture bills, which would impact farmers and their future. In a statement, he said hardships for the farmers were already on the rise.