Exploring all options to protect farmers' interests: Amarinder on farm laws

Terming the President's assent to the Farm Bills as "unfortunate and distressing", Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday said his government is exploring all options, including possible amendments to the state laws, to protect farmers' interests.

All farmer organisations and other stakeholders will be taken into confidence before taking any decision on the way forward, the chief minister said, adding that his government was committed to the procurement of every single grain of farmers without compromising on the pricing.

The state government is already consulting legal and agriculture experts, and all those impacted by the Centre's calamitous legislations to decide the future course of action, he said.

Besides legal recourse, the CM said his government is looking at other options to scuttle the Centre's new laws that are designed to ruin Punjab's farmers and economy.

The chief minister is scheduled to sit on a dharna against the legislations at Khatkar Kalan on Monday after paying tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at his Samadhi Sthal.

The chief minister expressed disappointment and anguish over President Ram Nath Kovind's nod to the three Bills without giving the Congress and other Opposition parties the opportunity to put their concerns before Parliament.

The President's assent had come as a big blow to the farmers, who are out on the roads protesting against the Centre's assault on their interests, he said.

Implementation of these dangerous new laws in their current form would destroy Punjab's agriculture the lifeline of its economy, said Amarinder, adding that the very livelihood of farmers was at stake due to the legislations, which the Centre succeeded in imposing by brute majority.

The exclusion of the MSP from the legislations had raised serious concerns about the intent of the BJP-led Union Government, the chief minister said.

Punjab, which will be the worst affected by these treacherous laws, will take this fight forward with all its might, said Amarinder, vowing not to give up till the farmers get back their due rights.

Amarinder also reacted strongly to Akali chief Sukhbir Singh Badal's response to the Presidential assent, terming it a "cruel joke on the farmers since it was the Shiromani Akali Dal's active support to the farm Ordinances that had brought things to such a pass.

Even now, after the farce of his party's break-up with the NDA, all Sukhbir seemed concerned about was not the farmers' plight but exploitation of the issue to boost the Akali prospects in the next assembly polls, he added.

The fact that Sukhbir and Harsimrat Badal's entire efforts were aimed at attacking him (Amarinder) personally and his government showed how desperate they were to transform this serious issue of national repercussions into a local issue for Punjab, the chief minister noted in a statement here.

A dark day for democracy, as Sukhbir is now calling it, was a gift of the Badals to Punjab and its farmers, he quipped.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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