Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday said the Congress government will take the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies, including the Akalis, to court over the unconstitutional, undemocratic and anti-farmer laws of the Central government.
“We will move the courts and fight the draconian legislations as soon as they get the Presidential nod and become the law of the land,” he said.
The Chief Minister questioned the rationale behind putting the controversial and vicious Bills, which he said were a blatant encroachment on the State’s powers and control of the agriculture sector, to voice vote, despite strong reservations by the Opposition and inadequate numbers in the House. “Why did the House not go for division of votes on this critical issue, which has even divided the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA),” he asked.
Captain Amarinder said his government would not allow the Central government, of which the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) continued to be a part, to trample on the rights and interests of the farmers through these legislations designed to destroy the farmers and Punjab for which agriculture is lifeline. “We stand with the farmers and will do whatever it takes to protect their interests,” he declared.
“They [the BJP and its allies] clearly don’t care for what these laws will do to the farmers,” he said, accusing the BJP-led government of selling the interests of the farmers to big corporates.
The BJP’s so-called ‘watershed’ moment will be the death of agriculture and will endanger the nation’s food security, warned the Chief Minister. “By pushing the Bills through without consultation with the key stakeholders and even without taking the government of Punjab, a major contributor to the agricultural sector growth, into confidence, the Central government had shown that it had no concern whatsoever for the farmers or the farm sector,” he said in a statement.
Pointing out that nowhere had the Bills made any mention of retaining the minimum support price, Captain Amarinder said this exposed the ill intent of the Central government, which, he said had a poor trust record as far as the States were concerned. “If they could not adhere to the clearly defined provisions on the GST, how can one trust them to uphold their verbal assurances on the MSP,” he asked.