Punjab CM moves resolution against farm laws, asks farmers to end protest

20 October, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

Captain Amarinder Singh National

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday tabled a resolution against farm laws. He said that the three farm legislations, which were recently passed by the Centre, are against the inte...

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Tuesday said that he was prepared to “resign or be dismissed rather than bow to injustice towards Punjab’s farmers” and warned of possible disruption of the state’s peace and a threat to national security as a result of the farm laws, pointing out that nobody can tolerate religious hurt and attack on livelihood.

“I am not afraid of resigning. I am not afraid of my government being dismissed. But I will not let the farmers suffer or be ruined,” Chief Minister Singh was quoted as saying in an official release. He said if the farm laws are not revoked, angry youth can come out on the streets to join the farmers, leading to chaos.

“The way things are going on at present, the situation has the potential to disturb the peaceful atmosphere, he warned, observing out that this is what had happened in the 80s and 90s. Both China and Pakistan will collude and try to take advantage of any disruption of the state’s peace, which would pose a serious threat to national security,” he added.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain (retired) Amarinder Singh moved a resolution on the floor of the Assembly, over the concerns of the government against Central agriculture reform laws and amendments to the Electricity Act. “Three farm legislations along with proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are clearly against interests of farmers and landless workers and time-tested agriculture marketing system established not only in Punjab but also in Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh,” the Chief Minister said.

“The draft resolution states that farm laws are against the constitution (Entry 14 List-II), which mentions agriculture as a state subject and these legislations are a direct attack to encroach upon functions and powers of states, as enshrined in the constitution,” he added.

According to an official release, Singh presented in the Vidhan Sabha a draft resolution rejecting outrightly the Centre’s anti-farmer laws and the proposed Electricity Amendment Bill, with an appeal to all parties in the state to rise above political interests in the spirit of saving Punjab

The draft resolution seeks annulment of the Farm Laws and the proposed Electricity Bill, as well as promulgation of “a fresh ordinance making the procurement of food grains on the Minimum Support Price a statutory right of the farmers and continue with procurement by Government of India through FCI and other such agencies.”

Regretting that several legislators indulged in frivolous activities on Monday to gain political mileage, with some coming in tractors and some spending the night in the Assembly precincts in protest against non-receipt of his government’s Bills, the Chief Minister said he had signed the same at 9.30 pm after extensive discussions and consultations with various experts. Such delays in sharing copies of Bills happen in an emergent session, he said, pointing to something similar happening when his government had brought in the Punjab Termination of Water Agreements Act during his last tenure in 2004.

He said the Bills being presented today would form the basis of the state’s legal battle ahead and, hence, needed to be thoroughly vetted before the presentation.

The draft resolution expresses the deep regret of the State Legislative Assembly over the “callous and inconsiderate attitude of the Government of India in attending to the concerns of the farming community on recent alleged farm legislation enacted by them.” It reads that the Assembly is constrained to unanimously reject the three (Farm) legislations and the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal introduced the Bill seeking Amendment to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, during the special Assembly session today.