KOLATA: Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya on Tuesday urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to frame a law in the Assembly to negate the "anti-agriculture" legislation passed by the Centre and protect the interests of farmers.
In a letter to Banerjee, Bhattacharya claimed that the three farm laws, if implemented, will lead to the end of minimum support price regime and cause exploitation of farmers, while corporates will take over the sector.
"I request you to take initiative to stop the Union Government to implement the Anti-Farmers bills 2020 here," the Congress leader said.
He was referring to the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave assent to these bills. The Congress top leadership has advised all the party-ruled state governments to explore possibilities of bypassing these central Acts by framing laws in Assemblies under Article 254(2) of the Constitution, Bhattacharya said in the letter.
Article 254(2) deals with a scenario where a law made by a state legislature with respect to a matter that falls in the Concurrent List contains any provision repugnant to the provisions of an earlier law made by Parliament or an existing law concerning that matter, then the state law, if it has been reserved for the consideration of the President and has received his assent, prevails in that state. Bhattacharya emphasised that this would enable the states to bypass the "three draconian agricultural laws".
Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, has claimed that the laws passed by the BJP-led Centre ignoring protests by the opposition will help big corporates and lead to food crisis in the country.
Apart from the state Congress, different wings of the TMC have hit the streets to protest against the farm laws.
The CPI(M)-led Left Front and the Congress had on September 24 called upon the chief minister to convene a special session of the state Assembly soon to discuss the "anti-farmer farm bills".