Wed, 21 Oct 2020

Chandigarh [India], September 20 (ANI): After the passage of two farm bills in Rajya Sabha on Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said his government will take the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies, including the Akalis, to court over the "anti-farmer laws of the central government".

As per the official release, Singh said that his government is standing with the farmers and will do whatever it takes to protect their interests.

"We will move the courts and fight the draconian legislations as soon as they get the presidential nod and become the law of the land. We stand with the farmers and will do whatever it takes to protect their interests," he said.

The Chief Minister asked, "why the House did not go for the division of votes on this critical issue, which has even divided the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA)".

"They (BJP and its allies) clearly do not care for what these laws will do to the farmers," he said.

Taking a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi who called the passage of bills a 'watershed moment', Singh said that BJP's so-called 'watershed' moment will be the death of Agriculture and will endanger the nation's food security.

"By pushing the bills through without consultation with the key stakeholders and even without taking the government of Punjab, a major contributor to India's agricultural sector growth, into confidence, the Central Government had shown that it had no concern whatsoever for the farmers or the farm sector," he said.

Pointing out that the Bills nowhere make any mention of retaining the MSP, Captain Amarinder said this clearly exposes the ill intent of the Central Government, which has a poor trust record as far as states go.

"If they could not adhere to the clearly defined provisions on GST, how can one trust them to uphold their verbal assurances on MSP? If these legislations are actually revolutionary and in the interests of farmers, why are the farmers out on the roads in protest," he questioned.

He further said that farmers are not fools and would not be marching to Delhi, braving a pandemic, if they did not find the Bills damaging and detrimental to their interests.

Amid the ongoing protests from the Opposition and farmers in several parts of the country, the Rajya Sabha today passed the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. Both of these bills were passed by the Lower House with a voice vote a couple of days back.

Meanwhile, the Congress is planning to hold a nationwide agitation against the Centre accusing it of supporting corporates. A meeting in this regard has been called by the party on September 21.

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi have accused the Modi government of helping industrialists through these bills. On the other hand, the government has defended the farm bills, saying these have been brought to benefit farmers. (ANI)

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