Karnataka may repeal APMC law, but not land Act amendment | Bengaluru News – Times of India
Law minister J Madhuswamy said the government will take an appropriate decision after discussions with the Centre. “When these laws were amended, we did take advice from the Centre. Now too, we will wait for directions from them,” the minister said.
The two laws — Karnataka Land Reforms (Second) amendment bill 2020 and Karnataka Agriculture Produce Marketing (Regulation and Development) (amendment) bill, 2020 — were passed in both houses of the state legislature despite protests from opposition Congress and farmer organisations across the state.
While the amendment to the Land Reform Act liberalises ownership of farmland and allows anyone to purchase agricultural land, the APMC amendment bill curtails powers of local Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees and allows farmers to sell their produce outside APMCs.
Farmer group sets deadline
Buoyed by the Centre’s decision on Friday, the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, a farmers’ organisation, set a deadline for the government to repeal both laws. “If these laws are not repealed in Karnataka, we will block all highways in the state on November 26,” said Kodihalli Chandrashekar, convener of the Sangha.
However, while Madhuswamy insisted the government will not repeal the land reforms amendment “as it has nothing to do with the Centre’s farm laws”, ST Somashekar, minister for cooperation and APMCs, said the state will wait and see whether the Centre’s decision will affect amendments passed in Karnataka. Another minister said: “The winter session of Parliament begins on November 29 and Karnataka will get clarity by then. If needed, we will take up the issue in the winter session of the state legislature beginning December 13, or we may push it to the budget session next year.”
Farmer leaders though were jubilant and claimed they will continue to oppose the laws since they “are anti-farming community”. “If the state government does not repeal the APMC and land reforms amendment acts, then it will face the same kind of pressure the Centre did,” said Kurbur Shanthakumar, a farmer leader.
Samyukta Horata Karnataka, an umbrella organisation of farmer associations and unions, said the onus is on the state to repeal the laws. “While the PM and the BJP government at the Centre have said they will repeal them, the BJP government in Karnataka has speeded up implementation of the APMC and land reform laws,” the association said. “We expect CM Basavaraj Bommai to follow in the footsteps of PM Modi and repeal these black laws.”