Punjab to pass state amendment bills again to negate central farm laws

·3-min read

Chandigarh, Feb 2 (PTI) With Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore refusing to send the state amendment bills aimed at negating the three central farm laws to President Ram Nath Kovind, the state government will again bring amendment bills to the central laws.

“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,” said Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in a statement here.

“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 added.

Amarinder Singh had earlier convened an all-party meeting to evolve a consensus on the way forward on the issue of farm laws and farmers' agitation.

Pointing out that the President had refused to meet the 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 would seek time again from President Kovind.

He said he was also constantly in touch with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the issue of farm laws and farmers’ protests as suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Last October, the Punjab assembly had passed four Bills and a resolution to counter the Centre's farm laws.

It had provided for imprisonment of not less than three years and a fine for sale or purchase of wheat or paddy under a farming agreement below the minimum support price.

The chief minister underlined the need for early resolution of the crisis and also warned that the threat from Pakistan could not be undermined.

“We have to work to resolve this issue before things go out of hand,” he said, adding he knew how many drones, arms and ammunition were being smuggled into the state from across the border.

“If anger builds up here, it will be exploited,” the chief minister warned.

He said the voice of the people is the strongest in a democracy.

“We will have to raise a united voice of Punjab,” he stated, adding if there is no peace here, no industry will come.

Slammed the Centre for allegedly penalising Punjab, the chief minister said the Centre still owes the state Rs 13,000 crore of GST, which they have held back along with Rs 1,200 crore of the rural development fund.

On the issue of missing people from Punjab since the Republic Day violence in the national capital, Amarinder Singh said 70 of them are in Delhi jails, while 14 of the remaining 19 have been located.

As per the information received, five persons from Punjab are still missing, he said, adding all efforts are being made to trace them.

The 70-member lawyers' team of Advocate General Atul Nanda, deputed to help out farmers with free legal aids, are reaching out to those in prison and those facing cases filed against them by the Delhi Police, the chief minister said.

He said his government was extending all possible help to the agitating farmers, camping out at Delhi's borders for over two months now, and also to their families back home.

“No effort would be spared to ensure the safe return of all the farmers to their homes in Punjab,” he added.

The CM also said that 170 cases registered against farmers during agitations in Punjab were being withdrawn by his government. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX