Kerala Governor reads out anti-Centre remarks

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Friday flayed the contentious farm laws passed by the Centre, against which farmers are on the warpath in Delhi, saying it would undermine regulated markets and help the corporates. Khan read in full length the remarks against the farm laws, against which the Kerala Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution on December 31 demanding its immediate withdrawal.

The governor also attacked the central investigating agencies, probing various allegations against the state government programmes, saying they have “overstepped the constitutional contours”.

The remarks against the farm laws and central agencies were part of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s policy address during the beginning of the budget session at the state Assembly, and Khan did not omit the portions critical of the Union government’s policies and the actions of its probe agencies.

“Actions of certain central government agencies have overstepped the constitutional contours and are impeding the development activities and flagship programmes undertaken by the State. This has had a demoralising effect on honest and hard-working officers,” the Governor said.

Khan, who usually does not mind openly expressing his support to the Centre, also said in such a situation co- operative federalism would lose its content and remain only in form.

Referring to the protest by farmers against the new laws, he said there has been an all-India strike of the workers, which is one of the largest of its kind against the new labour bills.

“These agrarian laws will undermine regulated markets, result in eventual demise of minimum support price and tilt the balance of bargaining power definitely in favour of corporate middle men,” he Governor said adding that Kerala being a consumer state was also going to be adversely affected by the amendment of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and the resultant hoarding and profiteering.

These remarks assume significance as Khan had at first turned down the Left government’s plea to convene the House on December 23 for discussing the agri laws, against which farmers have been agitating on Delhi borders for over a month.

The session was held on December 31 after the clarifications sought by the Governor were furnished.

The policy address also had references against the Centre’s amended Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, against which the state government had taken a strong stand by moving a unanimous resolution.

While presenting his policy address in January last year, Khan had read out references to the anti-CAA resolution passed by the house, after making it clear that he was doing so while disagreeing with it.

Khan said the state government was committed to defend the spirit of the Constitution, which is the cornerstone of the democracy.

“When apprehensions were raised regarding the consequences of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, we have taken the lead in alleviating the fears among large sections of the society,” he said.

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