Amended bills to negate farm laws to be brought again in Punjab assembly

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CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said his government will bring the State Amendment Bills to negate the draconian Farm Laws again in the Vidhan Sabha since the Governor had failed to send the earlier Bills to the President.

“We will bring the Bills again as the Constitution provides that if Bills are passed twice by the Vidhan Sabha they have to be sent by the Governor to the President,” he said, adding that the Governor should not have sat over the Bills. The state was empowered to amend the laws under Article 254 (ii) of the Constitution, he further said.

Pointing out that the President had refused to meet Punjab leaders following the passage of the Bills in the Vidhan Sabha on the ground that he had not received the Bills, the Chief Minister told the all-party meeting that he will seek time again from the President. He said he was also constantly in touch with the Union Home Minister on the issue of the Farm Laws and the farmer protests, as suggested by the Prime Minister.

Underlining the need for early resolution of the crisis, the Chief Minister warned said the threat from Pakistan could not be undermined. His focus on security threats stemmed from his awareness of the grave challenges to Punjab, he added. “We have to work to resolve this issue before things go out of hand,” he said, adding that he knew how many drones, arms and ammunition were being smuggled into the state from across the border.

Recalling how, soon after prolonged 2-month negotiations on an earlier Punjab crisis, relating to a list of some 42 demands, Operation Bluestar happened, the Chief Minister warned that “If anger builds here, it will be exploited.”

Pointing out the voice of the people is the strongest in a democracy, the Chief Minister stressed that “we will have to raise a united voice of Punjab.” If there is no peace here, no industry will come, he further said. The Chief Minister slammed the Centre for penalising Punjab, and said they still owe the state Rs 13000 crores of GST, which they have held back, along with Rs. 1200 crores of RDF.

Captain Amarinder promised to look into SAD’s Prem Singh Chandumajra’s suggestion that the state government should provide loan waiver to the families of all those killed during the ongoing farmers’ agitation.

In his opening remarks, the Chief Minister earlier asserted the meeting had been convened to evolve a consensus and send out the message that the whole of Punjab was with the agitating farmers, who have fed the nation right since the Green Revolution. Regretting that New Delhi had failed to listen to the voice of Punjab and its farmers, he said that the Centre, instead of seeing the pain and discomfort of the farmers braving the cold at Delhi borders, seemed to have hardened their stance against the farmers.

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