Agri-sector bills will sound death knell to farmers, says DMK President M K Stalin

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Chennai: The opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu On Friday slammed the NDA government’s Agri sector bills passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, alleging they favoured the corporates and that farmers will be “enslaved” to the business houses.

DMK President M K Stalin said the new bills will sound a “death knell” to farmers and slammed the ruling AIADMK in the state on the issue, saying it supported the Centre. He also pointed out that Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal, a BJP ally, had even quit the Union Cabinet opposing the bills.

Lok Sabha on Thursday passed two bills relating to the agriculture sector, including the one which seeks to promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade in agricultural produce, amidst protests by the SAD and Opposition.

Badal resigned from the Union Cabinet to protest the two bills as well as another similar measure passed by the lower house of Parliament on Tuesday.

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In a statement on Friday, Stalin said the new measures will “pave the way for hoarding of farmers’ produce by corporate firms.” “They (bills) will sound a death knell not just to Tamil Nadu farmers but ryots all over India,” he said in a statement.

“The three legislations brought by the Central BJP government are atrocious and will pawn the farmers to the corporates,” the Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly charged. That a farmer doing online trading should have a PAN card is an attempt to bring farming, which enjoys tax-free status, into the taxation regime, he said.

Questioning BJP’s promise of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, Stalin alleged the latest move was aimed at promoting the corporates and “enslave the farmers” to them.

He also took a swipe at Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s oft-repeated statement that he was also a farmer, saying he should not say so anymore after supporting the NDA on the matter.

Stalin also recalled his party’s opposition to the government in the Lok Sabha yesterday, where it had staged a walkout.

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