Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], December 31 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader O Rajagopal who had told media on Thursday that he "did not object to the general consensus" in Kerala Assembly regarding farm laws issued a statement later stating that he argued that the central government was always ready for talks and "opposed the resolution" adopted by the assembly.
"I have strongly opposed the resolution against farm laws today in the Assembly. I did not oppose the central government. I said that the farm laws were very beneficial to the farmers. When ruling and opposition MLAs alleged that the Prime Minister was not negotiating with the farmers, I argued that the central government was always ready for the talks," Rajagopal said in a statement.
"I said that farmer unions stand that they would engage in dialogue only after withdrawing the farm laws is the reason for the protests to continue in a prolonged manner. The statements that I am against the central government are baseless," he added.
Rajagopal, who is MLA from Nemom constituency in Thiruvananthapuram, said that Congress had earlier included similar farm laws in its manifesto.
"I have made it clear that Congress in their election manifesto had included similar farm laws and that the CPI(M) too has demanded it through a resolution. The speaker did not ask during voting about those who support the resolution and those who oppose it. It was reduced to a single question without being asked separately, which is a violation of the norms," he added.
Earlier, speaking to media after the Assembly session, Rajagopal said he abstained from voting and did not oppose the resolution because people do not need to know these differences in opinions.
"I support this resolution. During the discussion, I opposed certain references made in the resolution against the farm laws but I do not object to the general consensus reached by the house against the farm laws," he said.
With the lone BJP MLA not opposing it, the Kerala Assembly passed the resolution unanimously against the three farm laws after it was moved by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the special session.
The protesting farmers and the government-held the fifth round of talks on Wednesday and consensus was reached on two of four issues on the agenda.
Farmer leaders have been protesting on borders of the national capital since November 26 against the newly enacted farm laws - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)