Lone BJP MLA Supports Kerala Assembly Resolution Against Farm Laws Leaving Party in Shock


Lone BJP MLA, O Rajagopal in Kerala was Minister of State in Railways, Defence and Parliamentary Affairs in the Vajpayee government at the Centre. — IANS

“The party is literally in a shock. We don’t know what to do in this situation. The BJP will take a decision on this development,” said senior leader of the party

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM — The Kerala Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution moved by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan against the three new central farm laws, with the lone BJP MLA, O Rajagopal, supporting it.

Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan said the resolution was passed unanimously through a voice vote at the Special session of the Assembly.

However, controversy erupted after Rajagopal also came out in support. He had, in his speech, spoken for bringing about amendments in the laws.

Rajagopal told the media later: “I have supported the resolution but have opposed certain parts in it. I have abided by the general consensus in the Assembly and it is in democratic spirit.”

“But I do have certain reservations on the interpretations of these laws.”

Asked about his party’s stand on the laws, he said: “In a democracy, one has to abide by a consensus.” He also said that his support was in accordance with the spirit of the Assembly.

The Chief Minister said that continuation of the farmers’ agitation would create a crisis in the southern state and claimed the central government was backing out from the Minimum Support Price guarantee.

He said that the Centre must repeal the new farm laws in the country’s interest.

“The new farm laws have been formulated specifically to benefit major corporates. This will lead to an unprecedented crisis in the food sector in India,” he said.

He pointed out that the new farm laws had led to huge anxiety among farmers across the country.

Vijayan also lashed out against Governor Arif Mohammad Khan for deciding against convening of the Assembly session on December 23 for adopting the resolution.

Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Assembly, KC Joseph, also supported the resolution but criticized the LDF government for what he called its “mild reaction” to the Governor’s decision not to convene Assembly session on December 23 even after a democratically elected state government had recommended the same.

The Congress leader alleged that the state government had become “subservient” to the Governor and added that there was no reason for the government to play second fiddle.

The Congress leader also stressed on inclusion of the Prime Minister’s name in the resolution, which the state government did not.

Joseph alleged that the Vijayan government was “not keen to attack the Prime Minister” and wondered why it was afraid of the central government and Narendra Modi.

Ahamed Khabeer of the Muslim League, KB Ganesh Kumar of the Kerala Congress, CPI leader and Revenue Minister E Chandrashekharan, and Janata Dal leader Mathew T Thomas were among the legislators who spoke in the House.

The Assembly was later adjourned sine die.

Kerala BJP ‘shocked’ 

Kerala BJP was shocked over the lone party’s MLA supporting resolution on the three central farm laws in the state assembly.

BJP state chief K Surendran told the media: “I have not seen Rajagopal’s press conference, nor do I know what he has said. I will speak to him and let you know.”

Asked of two opinions within the BJP existed over the farm laws, he retorted: “What are you saying? there are no two opinions on the farm Acts among Kerala BJP leaders.”

BJP state General Secretary MT Ramesh told the media in Alappuzha: “Rajagopal is a senior leader and I did not think that he will support the resolution. He had earlier come out against the state government for bringing in a resolution against the farm Acts. I don’t know what happened. Let me check and revert back.”

While both senior leaders were guarded in their response, highly placed party sources told IANS that the party is “totally surprised”.

A senior leader said: “The party is literally in a shock. We don’t know what to do in this situation. The BJP will take a decision on this development.”

Rajagopal was Minister of State in Railways, Defence and Parliamentary Affairs in the Vajpayee government at the Centre. He is the first BJP leader to enter the Kerala Assembly.

Rajagopal had earlier courted a controversy during voting of Speaker’s post by supporting Left nominee Sreeramakrishnan. He had then said that he had supported the Speaker because his name had Lord Rama and Lord Sreekrishna in it.

RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat is currently in Thiruvananthapuram to attend a Sangh meeting. The position taken by the veteran BJP leader in the Assembly will be deliberated upon in the highest echelons of the BJP and the RSS, the sources said. — IANS

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