Farm bills: Punjab mulls special assembly session if legal experts advise amending state laws
Declaring that his government was with the farmers in this difficult time, Amarinder said he would take the suggestions of kisan unions and legal experts to finalise the next course of action
CHANDIGARH: The Congress-led Punjab government is mulling the convening of a special session of the state assembly to decide the way forward on the newly enacted agriculture laws.
Chairing a meeting with representatives of 31 farmer unions to take their views on the matter, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said, "We will take all possible steps to counter the Union government’s assault on the state’s federal and Constitutional rights and fight for the interests of the farmers. If legal experts advise an amendment to the state laws to fight the central laws, a special session of the state assembly will be immediately called to do so." He said he would be discussing the issue with a legal team later in the day to finalise the next steps, including challenging the farm laws in the Supreme Court.
He made it clear that the government had no qualms about convening an assembly session if that was the best course in the circumstances. However, he trashed SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal’s demand for a special assembly session as cheap gimmickry after their active support to the central laws for months. He demanded to know where were the Akalis in the last session and why Sukhbir did not support the other parties at the all-party meeting.
Amarinder said, "The Centre had no right to enact these laws as it amounted to violation of the Constitution and attack on the federal structure. My government will do whatever it takes to scuttle the Union government’s attempt to ruin the farming community with these draconian legislations."
"The battle will be fought on all fronts. All Panchayats in the state would be requested to pass resolutions against the Agriculture Acts and the same would be sent to the Union government," he said.
Declaring that his government and the Punjab Congress was with the farmers in this difficult time, Amarinder said he would take the suggestions of kisan unions and legal experts to finalise the next course of action.
Punjab Congress President Sunil Jakhar said he was ready to quit the PPCC presidentship to join their protests without making it a political act. "They (Centre) have killed the farmers with a pen, we will have to find a way to kill them with a pen,” he said, quipping “Kalam naal marya hai, assi kalam naal bachavange” (We will save the farmers with the pen)."
Earlier, several farmer leaders urged the Chief Minister to challenge the central laws legally and take whatever other steps are needed to protect the farmers, including blocking construction of Adani’s silos in the state.
Balbir Singh Rajewal, President of BKU (Rajewal Group), said that he was in favour of passing state laws through a special session of the state assembly to protect the farmers in Punjab. Echoing the same views, Jagjit Singh Dallewal of BKU Sidhupur also urged to convene a special session to pass a law to counter the central legislations, while Dr Darshanpal, President Krantikari Kisan Union Punjab, was of the view that constitutional experts should be consulted so that the state could formulate new laws.