CHANDIGARH: Terming the President’s assent to the Farm Bills as unfortunate and distressing, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday said that his government is exploring all options, including possible amendments to the State laws, to protect the interests of the farmers.
Singh also said that he will sit on dharna against these legislations on Monday at Khatkar Kalan in SBS Nagar after paying tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at the Samadhi Sthal of the martyr.
The Congress leader said, "All farmer organisations and other stakeholders would be taken into confidence before taking any decision on the way forward. The state government was committed to the procurement of every single grain of the farmers without compromising on the pricing. The government was already in
consultation with legal and agricultural experts, and all those impacted by the Central Government’s calamitous legislations, to decide on the future course of action.’’
"Besides legal recourse, the government was looking at other options to scuttle the Centre’s new agriculture laws that are designed to ruin Punjab’s farmers and economy,’’ he said.
The chief minister also expressed disappointment and anguish over the decision of President Ram Nath Kovind to give the nod to the three unconstitutional and anti-farmer bills, without giving the Congress and other Opposition parties the opportunity to put their concerns before the Parliament. The President’s
assent has 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. He added that the very livelihood of farmers was at stake due to these legislations which the Government of India had succeeded in imposing on the states and the farming community by brute majority.
He said, "The exclusion of MSP from the legislations have raised serious concerns about the intent of the BJP-led Union Government, which has triggered the widespread unrest among the farmers and prompted the Congress to take the lead in aggressively opposing the central laws. Punjab would be the worst affected
by these treacherous laws, would take this fight forward with all its might."
Meanwhile Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said, "Extremely sad that President refused to heed farmers of Punjab and has signed these farm bills and J&K bill excluding Punjabi as official language. It is the darkest day for democracy and farmers."