UDF stages walkout from Kerala Assembly in protest against govt attitude to farmers

Kerala Assembly Building | File Photo: Manorama
File photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The UDF on Wednesday staged a walkout from the Assembly in protest against the Left government's 'careless' attitude towards the plight of farmers in the state. The opposition walked out after permission for an adjournment motion moved by UDF MLAs to discuss plight of farmers in Kerala was denied by Speaker A N Shamseer.

The Speaker denied the permission after state Agriculture Minister P Prasad said in the House that the Left government was actually concerned about the problems of farmers and was continuously taking the necessary steps to help them. He also blamed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's agriculture policies and signing of the ASEAN agreement for the problems being faced by farmers, especially coconut cultivators, in the state.

On the other hand, UDF MLA K Moideen said that all the steps the government was claiming to have taken were on paper only and nothing was done on the ground level. Moideen, who was one of the MLAs who moved the adjournment motion, further contended that the state government has been unable to ensure proper collection of coconuts from farmers or help in increasing the productivity or even set a minimum support price that would be beneficial to cultivators. He claimed that same was the case with regard to paddy cultivation in the state.

Backing his contentions, Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said that there was "neglect" and "carelessness" on the part of the government towards the farmers. He too claimed that many of the schemes and projects meant for welfare of farmers were still on paper only. Satheesan said that packages worth thousands of crores of rupees was announced for various districts, including Wayanad and Idukki, in the state, but none of them have been implemented. He also pointed out that it was Manmohan Singh government at the Centre which had waived over Rs 70,000 crore of farmers' debts.
(With PTI inputs.)

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