‘Chose to go along with general consensus’, Kerala’s lone BJP MLA supports resolution against farm laws

Senior leader O.Rajagopal said that he supported the Kerala Chief Minister’s resolution against the new agricultural laws.

Senior BJP leader O. Rajagopal, the lone MLA of the party in Kerala Assembly, sprang a surprise on Thursday when he chose not to oppose the resolution passed by the House demanding that the Narendra Modi government repeal the contentious farm laws.

After the session, Mr. Rajagopal told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that he supported the resolution and that it was indeed passed unanimously. On his part, he had opted to go along with the general consensus in supporting the resolution, he said.

Also read: Who gains and who loses from the farm Bills?

The Opposition, Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), had joined the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front in supporting the resolution presented by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Mr. Rajagopal abstained from the voting, and Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan had declared that the resolution was being passed unanimously.

Asked whether he supported the resolution, Mr. Rajagopal replied in the affirmative. He said he had reservations regarding certain points made in the resolution, which he pointed out in his speech. Nonetheless, he was in agreement with the substance of the resolution, he said. “I gave my opinion. But that was not the consensus. I accept that. Isn’t that the democratic spirit?” he said in reply to questions.

He said he did not believe that his stand creates a problem for the BJP. “I interpret it as democratic spirit,” he said.

In his speech in the Assembly, Mr. Rajagopal said that the laws were designed to protect the farmers. “They avoided middlemen and commission agents and enabled farmers to sell their produce wherever they chose to. Those who oppose the laws were against the farmers,” Mr. Rajagopal said. He also expressed the hope that the discussion in the Assembly would contribute to fruitful discussions for resolving the dispute.

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