Agriculture bills would lead to unrest in Punjab, says Amarinder

Centre has failed to take the interest of the farmers into account, says Chief Minister

September 16, 2020 07:07 pm | Updated 07:07 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. File

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. File

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday led a Congress delegation to submit a memorandum to Governor V.P. Singh Badnore seeking his intervention for non-pursuance of the agriculture related bills by the Centre in Parliament .

He cautioned that the enactment of the farm ordinances would lead to unrest in Punjab, which was already at the receiving end of Pakistan’s concerted efforts to foment trouble.

The Chief Minister said he told the Governor that the party felt that any move to tinker with the present procurement system, and that too in the times of nation-wide crisis, may deepen social unrest among the farmers of the State. “It may not be conducive for the peace and development of the region, which faces serious challenges of public order due to a live international border,” he said.

Pointing to Pakistan’s bid to disturb the peace and stability through narco-terror and other anti-India acts, the Chief Minister later told journalists that the legislations would lead to rise in the people’s anger. “Why are we playing into the hands of Pakistan?”

“These Bills, one of which has already been passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, are against the national interest, and particularly detrimental to Punjab where the majority of the farmers tilled less than five acres and would be the worst hit,” he said. Hoping that the Centre will not get the other two passed in Parliament, he said the Centre had failed to take the interest of the farmers into account in introducing the Ordinances and instead, took a stand in favour of corporate houses.

Explainer | Why are the Agriculture Bills being opposed

Hitting out at the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Chief Minister pointed out that all except the SAD and the BJP were on board at the all-party meeting he had convened on the issue. “We passed a resolution in the Assembly. We talked to all political parties and farmer unions…and all were on board except the Akalis, who are now pretending to be opposed to the Ordinances,” he said.

Parliament proceedings updates | September 16, 2020

“Isn’t Harsimrat Badal a member of the Cabinet? Why didn’t she protest there and why doesn’t she speak outside on the issue? What did the Akali Dal do in the Assembly?” asked the Chief Minister, terming their U-turn a farce and nothing more than a face-saver.

State Congress chief Sunil was also part of the delegation.

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