Congress President Sonia Gandhi has asked party-ruled states to explore the possibility to pass laws under Article 254(2) of the constitution “to negate the anti-agriculture central laws encroaching upon state’s jurisdiction under the Constitution”.A press statement issued by Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said that this would enable the states “to bypass the unacceptable anti-farmers’ provisions in the three draconian agricultural laws including the abolition of MSP and disruption of APMCs in Congress-ruled states”.

“Congress President has advised the Congress-ruled states to explore the possibilities to pass laws in their respective states under Article 254(2) of the constitution which allows the state legislatures to pass a law to negate the Anti-Agriculture Central laws encroaching upon State’s jurisdiction under the Constitution,” the statement said.”This would enable the states to bypass the unacceptable anti-farmers’ provisions in the three draconian Agricultural laws including the abolition of MSP and disruption of APMCs in Congress ruled states. This would also alleviate the farmers from the grave injustice done by the Modi Government and BJP,” it added.

Article 254(2) of the constitution provides that where a law made by a state legislature with respect to one of the matters enumerated in the concurrent list “contains any provision repugnant to the provisions of an earlier law made by Parliament or an existing law with respect to that matter”, then, the law so made by the legislature “shall, if it has been reserved for the consideration of the President and has received his assent, prevail in that state”.

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On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi is probably going to lead a protest in Punjab this week in support of farmers distressing against the government over three farm laws passed by Parliament last week, people familiar with the development said.Gandhi is also likely to address a rally.The date and place of the rally are being finalized, a Congress leader said.“After Punjab, he may join the protesting farmers in Haryana. But we are not sure if the BJP government in Haryana will allow him to enter the state,” said the leader quoted above.

“First demonetisation, then GST, then you were not given a single rupee at the time of coronavirus, attempt was being made to kill you (farmers), you are being made a slave of corporates, and now these three deadly bills,” he said.

“We are standing with you (farmers) and together we will stop these bills. I want to say to the government—you have made a very big mistake. If farmers hit the streets, it will result in tremendous damage. Don’t waste time, withdraw these laws immediately and give guarantee on MSP (minimum support price) to farmers,” Gandhi said.

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