Punjab Cong MPs to move private member's bill in LS to repeal farm laws

·4-min read

New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) Congress' Lok Sabha MPs from Punjab on Tuesday announced that they will move a private member's bill in the Lower House for repealing the three contentious farm laws.

Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Manish Tewari told reporters that the Repealing and Amendment Bill 2021 will be moved by the party MPs from Punjab including him, Preneet Kaur, Jasbir Singh Gill, Ravneet Singh Bittu and Santokh Chaudhary.

On whether a similar bill would be introduced in Rajya Sabha, Tewari said they will request their counterparts in the Upper House also to do so.

But Congress MPs in Rajya Sabha Pratap Singh Bajwa, Shamsher Singh Dullo and Ambika Soni said they were not consulted on the decision.

'We are dismayed that the Rajya Sabha members, who have been former presidents of Punjab Congress, have neither been consulted nor informed about the decision of Punjab MPs,' Bajwa said.

Tewari said they will seek the support of fellow MPs from other parties who sympathise with the farmers and support their stand on the new agri legislations.

'This government has responded to the concerns of farmers with arrogance. We will move a private member's bill to repeal the farm laws in the Lok Sabha. We have handed over the bill to the Lok Sabha secretariat and will appeal to all the members to support the bill by listening to their inner voice and conscience,' Tewari said.

He was flanked by MPs Preneet Kaur, Bittu, Gill, Amar Singh, Mohammed Sadiq, Santokh Singh Chaudhary.

Alleging that the government's intent and policy towards farmers is doubtful, Tewari said that is why the Punjab Congress MPs have thought about bringing the private member's bill.

He said the Punjab MPs will also meet Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to urge him to give priority to the bill in the House.

Asked about the Congress not having the numbers to get the bill passed in Lok Sabha, Tewari said so far 14 private member's bills have been passed in Parliament and have been enacted as laws in the country.

The Congress leader said they would coordinate with other like-minded political parties for garnering support for this bill to repeal the three agri laws.

'We will be requesting all our colleagues from the Congress party and other political parties who empathise with farmers to support the bill,' he said, alleging that the three farm laws were passed unconstitutionally and should be repealed.

Former union minister Preneet Kaur said all the Punjab MPs belonging to the Congress party plan to individually and collectively introduce the bill.

'Just like the Punjab Assembly had passed acts to repeal the farm laws, we hope that this bill will be supported and passed in parliament,' she said.

The Patiala MP accused the BJP government of trying to destroy the ideals of the Constitution that was made for the preservation of the rights of the people.

She said this bill is being brought to ensure that the Constitution is not trampled upon and to extend support to the protesting farmers 'who are forced to sit on roads for their rights'.

'We have tried everything to support our farmers and to raise their concerns, our MPs and MLAs have even been sitting on a dharna for over a month.

'But this government has turned a blind eye to the elected members as it had done to the farmers,' she said.

Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu said 203 MPs in Lok Sabha claim to be doing farming and another 67 in Rajya Sabha.

'We would request all of them to support this private member bill in favour of the farmers. If any MP claims to have an agricultural background, the farmers of his constituency should meet him and press upon him to support this bill, irrespective of party lines and only then will this government repeal these laws,' he said.

Gill appealed to all Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs to support this bill. 'If they do not stand with the farmers, they would be betraying them and Mother India,' he said.

He also demanded that the families of the farmers who died during the agitation be given Rs 50 lakh as ex-gratia.

For over two months now, thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi borders against the three farm sector reform laws enacted in September last year. PTI SKC SKC RT RT