Chattisgarh making entire state a single mandi 'exposes' Punjab government's 'fraud': SAD

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Chandigarh, Oct 29 (PTI) SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday said the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh government having passed a Bill making the entire state a single 'mandi' has “exposed the fraud” played on farmers by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Badal said that he had been suggesting that the Punjab government should declare the entire state as a 'mandi' (principal marketing yard) to negate the implementation of three central farm laws but it did not do so.

“It was mooted that a Bill be passed to make the entire state a single mandi to negate the implementation of the three agriculture laws in Punjab.

'The Chief Minister rejected the proposal saying it was not feasible but his Chhattisgarh counterpart does not feel so. This makes it clear that Amarinder Singh is playing to Delhi's tunes and does not want to do anything which will upset the Centre,” he alleged while stating that it has “exposed the fraud” played by the Punjab CM.

Notably, the Congress-led government in Chhattisgarh has brought its own agriculture amendment bill seeking to protect farmers from fluctuating market prices that was passed in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

The Bill allows the state government to establish deemed mandis or declare private markets as deemed mandis for regulation of marketing of notified agricultural produce.

In a statement here, Badal said even as the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan governments had passed similar laws to protect their farmers, Amarinder Singh had left the farmers of the state at the “mercy” of the Centre.

“The Congress government in Punjab has deliberately amended the central Acts under the trade subject which is on the concurrent list instead of bringing in legislation under the agricultural head which is on the state list as was done by the Chhattisgarh government. This amounts to selling off the interests of the state to the central BJP government”, Sukhbir alleged.

The SAD chief said he had all along suggested that Punjab should bring in legislation to ensure its farmers did not face exploitation at the hands of private players.

Sukhbir said Amarinder was “directly responsible” for the present state of affairs in Punjab including the economic blockade of the state.

“If Captain Amarinder Singh had repealed the central agriculture laws, besides passing a Bill making the entire state a single mandi, the future of the farming community could have been secured. Instead of doing this, the chief minister chose to play into the hands of the Centre”, he alleged.

Earlier this month, the Punjab Assembly had adopted a resolution rejecting the Centre's new farm laws and passed four bills to counter the contentious legislation enacted by Parliament. PTI CHS VSD HDA