Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Singh Chautala on Wednesday resigned as an MLA in the Haryana Assembly, in support of the farmers protesting against the new agriculture laws, PTI reported. The 57-year old INLD leader was the party’s lone MLA in the 90-member Assembly and represented the Ellenabad seat.
Gian Chand Gupta, Speaker of the Haryana Assembly, accepted his resignation. Speaking to reporters, Gupta said that Chautala mentioned in his resignation letter that he was quitting as the Narendra Modi government was not meeting the farmers demand to withdraw the contentious legislations.
Earlier this month, Chautala had written to the Speaker, saying if the Centre does not withdraw the three new farm laws by January 26, then his letter may be considered as his resignation. Chautala had tweeted about the letter on January 11 and signed a copy of it publicly.
Following Chautala’s resignation, the Haryana Assembly has 40 MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party, 10 of its ally Jannayak Janata Party and 31 members of the main Opposition Congress. The House also has seven Independent MLAs, five of which support the ruling combine and a lone MLA of the Haryana Lokhit Party.
Last month, JJP leader and Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala had said that he would resign from his post if he was unable to ensure the minimum support price guarantee for the procurement of farmers’ crops.
Farmers claim that the new reforms will weaken the minimum support price system, lead to a deregulation of crop pricing and leave them at the mercy of large and private buyers. They have been camped outside Delhi for two months, seeking withdrawal of the laws. The central government maintains that the three laws, passed by Parliament in September, will overhaul outdated procurement procedures for farm produce, give farmers more options for selling their harvest and improve pricing.