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West Bengal Assembly passes resolution demanding repeal of Centre's farm laws

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The West Bengal Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution extending support to farmers protesting in the national capital and demanding the repeal of three Farm Laws passed by Centre.

The State's Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Partha Chatterjee moved a Government resolution under rule 169 urging the Centre that that the three laws the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020’; the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020’; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be repealed.

‘Withdraw laws or quit’

Speaking on the resolution, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the BJP government should either withdraw the farm laws or step down. She also accused the BJP government of passing these laws without much discussion. Referring to the developments in Delhi on January 26, the Chief Minister said there was prior permission for march, but the police could not handle it properly.

‘Police to blame’

“Delhi police is to be blamed for the violence. What was Delhi police doing ? It was intelligence failure. We will not tolerate farmers being branded as traitors. We will never tolerate that,” she said.

Ms Banerjee said there were attempts to malign the protesting farmers and demanded an investigation in the whole issue. She said the Union government was responsible for the violence that occurred on January 26 and added that she had spoken to the protesting farmers in Delhi.

Ms. Banerjee also tried out to reach opposition Left and Congress stating that they might have ideological differences but for the issue of farmers they must come together.

“Either you [ Union government] accept the demands of farmers or resign,” the Chief Minister said addressing a gathering later in the day.

The Left and Congress legislators suggested amendments to the resolution tabled by the State government but did not oppose the resolution. Leader of Left Legislature party Sujan Chakraborty later said the provisions in the Central laws are similar to those passed by the West Bengal government, referring to the West Bengal Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act 2014.

BJP protests

While the Chief Minister was speaking in the House, the MLAs of the BJP descended to the Well of the house, raising slogans. Later they staged a walkout.

Speaking to journalists, the BJP MLAs said law passed by Parliament cannot be challenged in the State Assembly.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 9:46:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mamata-govt-tables-resolution-against-farm-laws-in-assembly-amid-bjp-walkout/article33684494.ece

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