India

"AIADMK's Support To Farm Bills Betrays Farmers": Kamal Haasan

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan attacked the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu over the farm bills.

Chennai:

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan today slammed Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK for supporting the three controversial farm bills and stressed the bills "attack the state's autonomy", and create a "dangerous situation wherein a state can do nothing amid scarcity or price rise".

Taking on the centre too, Mr Haasan urged President Ram Nath Kovind to return the bills, passed last week, to the parliament for discussion. "That's the only way these can be made beneficial to farmers," he said.

"Isn't this support to these bills a betrayal of farmers by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami who calls himself a farmer?" Mr Haasan asked in a statement, warning that farmers who sow have the power to bury the government too as Tamil Nadu goes to polls next year.

Mr Haasan tore through each bill in his statement underlining that farming has always been a state subject and that each of these proposed laws threaten farmers.

"The bills allow movement of goods to any part of the country; it threatens food security and would create a dangerous situation as a state would be able to do nothing amid scarcity or price rise," Mr Haasan said, adding that the AIADMK captured power promising more autonomy to farmers in the state.

"It is a ploy to make corporates new landlords and farmers modern-day farm slaves. The bills would pave the way for corporate hoarding and create scarcity for profit. Why is the government covering up the dangers of corporates fixing prices of farm produce? Continuation of minimum support price (MSP) has come under question," Mr Haasan warned on removal of food grains and oils from the list of essential items.

The statement comes days after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said, "I did not oppose these bills since they will benefit the farmers in Tamil Nadu."

The BJP-led central government has argued that the new bills will help farmers get higher price for their produce by doing away with state-based Agricultural Produce Market Committees, opposition parties have said it is the start of the end of minimum support price system and demanded a legislative assurance for it.

Farmers across the country have been protesting for weeks demanding that these bills be repealed.