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Punjab farm Bills leave farmers at Modi's mercy: SAD leader

Wednesday - October 21, 2020 8:06 pm , Category : INDIA
Chandigarh, Oct 21 (IANS) A day after unanimously supporting the Congress government in the Punjab Assembly on three Bills to negate the central laws on agriculture, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) said on Wednesday that the state Bills have "thrown back Punjab farmers completely at Modi's mercy".
"All this is being done under a deep-rooted conspiracy between the state and the central governments to throw cold water on Punjab farmers," senior Akali leader and former Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia claimed.
Majithia alleged that the Amarinder Singh government deliberately brought the Bills under the Concurrent List, in which Parliament has overriding powers over the state legislations.
"If the Chief Minister had brought the Bills under the State List, there would have been no need for presidential assent. But the Centre did not want it this way and he did not have the courage to say no to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His bravado is just for showoff," he claimed.
The SAD leader told the media that the Punjab Bills and the manner in which they were brought and passed on Tuesday was "clearly an orchestrated and foxy move by the Modi-Captain (Amarinder Singh) duo to completely destroy the farmers' cause by tossing the responsibility of purchase of crops up in the air between the state and the Centre".
Majithia also condemned the clean chit given to Minister Sadhu Singh Dharmsot and demanded a "court-monitored" inquiry into the post-matric scholarship funds scam in Punjab, since it affected the future of the children from the poor and socially and economically vulnerable families.
Taking a dig at Amarinder Singh's remark about his readiness to risk President's Rule in Punjab, Majithia asked: "Do you seriously want us to believe that Punjab is not already under President's Rule?"
"What else is it when the state lacks courage even to bring in a Bill to protect its farmers which does not require approval of President or, in other words, Narendra Modi?" Majithia said.
The Akali leader said that the Vidhan Sabha session was to be convened with only two objectives but the farmers had been stabbed in the back on both counts.
"The first objective was to reject the Centre's black laws while the second was to render these laws infructuous and unimplementable in Punjab by declaring the whole of the state a principal market yard.
"Both these objectives were cleverly defeated by ensuring that the Bills require Presidential assent, or in other words, the assent of the Centre which has already implemented the black laws against farmers," the SAD leader claimed.
The former Minister said that the sole reason for the SAD support to the Bills in the Assembly was to show solidarity with the Punjab farmers.

--IANS vg/tsb/bg