Other States

Sukhbir Singh Badal urges President to not sign agriculture Bills

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Sukhbir Singh Badal speaks in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday urged President Ram Nath Kovind not to put his seal of approval on the agriculture sector Bills that have been passed by the Parliament.

“I beseech you to please stand by the beleaguered and toiling farmers, farm labours, mandi labours and Dalits in their hour of need. They are facing exploitation and look up to you to exercise your discretion as the highest executive in the country, and come to their rescue by not signing these bills so that they do not acquire the finality of an Act,” Mr. Badal said.

He requested the President to return the Bills to the Parliament for reconsideration so that “the hasty decisions taken in a fleeting moment of overzealous stubbornness do not leave permanent scars on the nation’s psyche nor inflict a deep wound on the long-term vital interests of the farmers, the farm and mandi labourers and Dalits”.

Watch | Why are the agriculture bills being opposed?

The SAD president said the founding fathers had made this constitutional provision for the presidential intervention after thorough consideration of all aspects of any legislation brought before him.

The Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

“The President can ask Parliament to reconsider and review its decision in the event of an absence of a national consensus on any decision of the government. There was never a greater urgency for the President of India to exercise that discretion than there is today as the present legislation puts a question mark on the present and the future of over 80% of the country’s population directly and of the remaining 20% indirectly,” Mr. Badal said.

According to him, this is the fittest case for the President to exercise his superior wisdom and ask the two Houses of the Parliament to reconsider these Bills for overall national interest.

“Democracy is not about majoritarian oppression but about consultation, conciliation and consensus. All three democratic virtues were ignored at today’s proceedings in the Rajya Sabha. This distortion can only be corrected with a Presidential intervention,” Mr. Badal said.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 3:16:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/badal-urges-president-to-not-sign-agriculture-bills/article32656092.ece

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