In an unprecedented move, Bharatiya Janata Party's lone member in the Kerala assembly, O Rajagopal, on Thursday supported the resolution seeking scrapping of the three contentious farm laws against which farmers have been agitating for over a month in Delhi borders, embarrassing the saffron party.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had moved the resolution at a special session on Thursday which was unanimously passed by the House with the ruling Left Democratic Front, Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front and BJP supporting it.
"The resolution was passed unanimously. I have told my views...with regard to some matters (in the resolution) there was a difference of opinion, which I had pointed out in the House", Rajagopal told mediapersons after the session.
"I fully support the resolution," he said.
When pointed out again that the resolution was for scrapping the three central farm laws, Rajagopal said he supported it (resolution).
"I supported the resolution and the central government should withdraw the three farm laws," the senior BJP leader said, adding he agreed with the general consensus in the House.
That is the democratic spirit, he said.
Speaker P Sreeramakrsihanan said the resolution had been passed by voice vote in the House and no one had objected.
When pointed that he was going against his party's stand, Rajagopal said in a democratic system, we need to go as per consensus.
However, hours later in a U-turn, Rajagopal said in a statement that he had strongly opposed the resolution in the House.
"My stand I had clearly stated inside the House. I had neither opposed the central laws nor gone against the Union government. The laws would immensely benefit the farmers," he said.
When the LDF and UDF members pointed out that the Prime Minister had not held discussions with farmers, Rajagopal said he had pointed that it was the farmers unions which had adamantly demanded that the agri laws should be withdrawn first before any such discussion.
While speaking during the session, Rajagopal had said the new laws will protect farmers interests and there will be no middlemen.
Those opposing the laws are standing against farmers, he said, adding the new laws would double the income of farmers.
The senior BJP leader said reports that he was against the Central government were "baseless" and blamed the speaker for not clearly asking those who were opposing and those who seconded the resolution during the voice vote.
Slamming the LDF government's resolution, BJP state president K Surendran, told reporters in Thodupuzhathat it was absurd.
On Rajagopal's stand, Surendran said he was not aware of the stance taken by the senior leader and would speak to him.
There are no two opinions about the Centre's laws in the BJP, he said.