Farmers stand to lose rights to cultivate in their farms: Stalin

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Farmers stand to lose rights to cultivate in their farms: Stalin

Wednesday, 06 January 2021 | Kumar Chellappan | CHENNAI

The DMK which launched its campaign for the 2021 Assembly election has made the contentious farm laws 2020 and allegations of corruption against Tamil Nadu Government as its main weapons. MK Stalin, the DMK chief, cautioned the people against the continuation of the Narendra Modi Government at the Centre and the Edappadi Palaniswamy Government in the State even for one day.

“The Narendra Modi Government has taken away the rights of the farmers to cultivate in their own fields. The three farm legislations enacted by the Modi regime are against the farmers in the country. Hereafter the farmers will not be allowed to cultivate in their own lands. The Mandis and village markets operating all over India are being shut down. Even if the farmers cultivate in their fields, the crops would be taken away by corporates with the support of the Centre and State governments,” warned Stalin while addressing Gram Sabhas in Tiruvarur and Cuddalore districts on Monday and Tuesday.

The Grama Sabhas which saw unprecedented crowds, mainly poor and marginal farmers, sat in rapt attention as the DMK chief told them about the traps laid by the Centre and State governments to ‘dispossess them of their lands’. He said the BJP and the AIADMK were working  exclusively to safeguard the interests of big-time businessmen and corporate houses.

But farm experts in Tamil Nadu feigned ignorance about the possibilities listed out by the DMK president in his speech. “Though I read the new legislations threadbare and discussed about its pros and cons with our lawyers, I did not find anything in the new laws which substantiate the allegations of  Stalin,” said R V Giri, president, CIFA (Confederation of Indian Farmers’ Associations), an umbrella organization of farmers’ unions in the country. Giri, himself a farmer, cultivating sugarcane in his ten-acre farm in Virudachalam, said that with the President signing the new Bill, he felt he was freed of the shackles of controls and regulations. “Till now I could sell the sugarcane only to sugar factories which were handpicked by the Government. Now, I am at liberty to sell the crop to the buyer of my choice. Moreover, Tamil Nadu has no Mandis to speak about and I do not know what Stalin meant by these charges,” Giri told The Pioneer.

Farmer-turned-farm leader Pon Vijayaraghavan described Stalin’s words as a bunch of lies. “He is spreading canard and falsehood. These were the same legislations which were under the consideration of the Congress for decades but the leaders were reluctant to get them converted into laws. Stalin has political intentions and that is why he is engaged in distorting the laws,” said Vijayaraghavan, former Tamil Nadu chief of Kisan Morchcha.

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