Two days after Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan declined approval for a special Assembly session, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Cabinet on Thursday again decided to make a similar recommendation, reported PTI. The state government wants the governor to convene a single-day session of the Assembly on December 31 to pass a resolution against the three central agricultural laws, against which farmers have been protesting.
On Tuesday, the governor had turned down the government’s recommendation to hold a special session on December 23, citing that there was no urgency as a normal Assembly session was scheduled on January 8, 2021. Chief Minister Vijayan had then written to Khan, suggesting that it was regrettable that the permission to discuss “an emergent issue of national importance” was not granted. The Congress, which sits in the Opposition in Kerala, had also called the governor’s decision undemocratic.
On Thursday, speaking to reporters, Vijayan government decided to recommend the session again as the concerns and problems faced by the agriculture sector and farming community remained serious, reported PTI. He said that Kerala was largely dependent on other states for foodgrains and so the matter was of great concern for them.
“As it is a matter of common interest to the state and the country, it will be appropriate to discuss this in the state Legislative Assembly,” he said. “I hope the governor will accede to the government request this time. According to the parliamentary norms in our country, a governor usually gives approval for a decision taken by an elected government enjoying majority.”
Last year, the Kerala government had convened a similar special session of the Assembly during which it passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act. It became the first state in the country to take such a measure then.
Farm law protests
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at key entry points to Delhi for 29 days against the laws. The farmers fear the agricultural reforms will weaken the minimum support price mechanism under which the government buys agricultural produce, will lead to the deregulation of crop-pricing, deny them fair remuneration for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporations.
The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options in selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies.