The Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to go ahead with the legislation of “anti-farm ordinances presented to parliament today (Monday)” and announced that ‘He would lead an 11-member delegation of Congress to submit a memorandum to the governor against Wednesday’s orders.
According to an official statement, rejecting the Center’s claim that the Punjab had been accepted before the enactment of the anti-farm ordinances presented to parliament on Monday, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh urged the prime minister not to go. forward with their legislation.
In addition to the chief minister, the delegation will include the leader of the Punjabi Congress, Sunil Jakhar, as well as some ministers and party deputies, an official spokesperson said.
The decision to meet with the governor came after the BJP-led central government presented the three controversial ordinances to parliament for legislation despite strong protests from farmers in various states, including Punjab.
The Chief Minister also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister asking him not to enforce the ordinances and to make the MSP a statutory right of farmers. He urged the prime minister not to disappoint the people and farmers of Punjab and to look favorably on their demand not to go ahead with the ordinances, which are not in the best interests of the farmers.
Meanwhile, saying his government has consistently opposed the so-called reforms introduced by the ordinances, the chief minister said in a statement that at no time has the Punjab approved such a move, unlike to what was planned by the central government. government. In fact, the ordinances were not debated once in the only meeting of the very powerful committee that was held after the Punjab was made a member, he added.
Reacting to the statement made to Parliament today by the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Distribution, Raosaheb Patil Danve, that the High Level Committee on Agriculture had decided on the ordinances after giving due consideration to all member states, Captain Amarinder said she is irresponsible since the Punjab never supported such an initiative and was not consulted before the promulgation of the ordinances.
Noting that the Punjab was initially excluded from the high-level committee set up by the central government in July 2019, the chief minister said that it was only after the state government protested that it was included, in August 2019. By that time, the committee had already held its first meeting.
At the second meeting, on August 16, 2019, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal represented Punjab, and only certain agriculture-related tax issues were discussed. The ordinances or their provisions were not discussed at all at that meeting, according to Manpreet. Subsequently, a meeting of the agricultural secretaries of the member states was held on September 3, 2019, during which the Punjab took a firm stand against any dilution of the APMC law. The committee’s draft report has been circulated for comment and the Punjab has again made its position clear, strongly opposing any move to water down farm-friendly laws.
However, the Chief Minister said, the central government did not respond to Punjab’s comments and, in fact, there was no meeting or discussion at all afterwards. Instead, in the midst of the pandemic, the Center chose to promulgate the ordinances in June 2020, he added.
The clandestine way of introducing the ordinances made it clear that the central government did not intend to protect the interests of farmers but was determined to implement the report of the Shanta Kumar committee, which had recommended the phasing out of the MSP and the dismantling of FCI. , said the chief minister.
The ordinances are not acceptable for the Punjab, Captain Amarinder said, adding that they are also anti-federal because agriculture is a state subject.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)