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Indian Prez Ignores Protests, Assents To ‘Anti-Farmer’ Bills, Exclusion Of Punjabi J&K Official Language.

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(Punjab CM Also To Sit On Dharna At Bhagat Singh’s Village)

Despite unprecedented protests going on in Indian Union especially in Punjab, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind granted his assent to three anti-farmer bills and one that excludes Punjabi as one of the official languages of Jammu and Kashmir.

Amid the uproar, the Parliament of India had recently passed the Farmer’s 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. They were awaiting presidential assent.

The farmers and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) which has quitted BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in centre over these bills, made an appeal to Kovid not to sign these bills that have the potential to destroy the farmers, mandi labourers and the commission agents. However, the President paid no heed towards these appeals. 

After these bills have become Acts with the President’s signatures, the unrest in Punjab has deepened as voices of peacefully and democratically agitating farmers have been crushed mercilessly. Now, it is being apprehended that the peaceful atmosphere of Punjab may be vitiated in future over this dictatorial moves of the Indian government.  There is harsh outrage among the people in the state and the farmer organizations are planning to intensify the stir.

Reacting over this, an English writer Amandeep Sandhu writes on Facebook, “The supposed conscience keeper of democracy betrays the spirit of the nation”.

The SAD (Badal) President and Ferozepur MP Sukhbir Badal described it as “sad, disappointing and extremely unfortunate”.  

Prior to parting ways with the saffron party, the Sukhbir’s wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned as Union Minister of Food Processing Industry in protest against these bills.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government declared that it won’t implement the “anti-farmers” law in the state.

In a statement, Mahrashtra revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said, “The Bills passed by Parliament are anti-farmers. So we’re opposing it. Maha Vikas Aghadi will also oppose it and not implement it in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena is also with us. We’ll sit together and form a strategy”.

As the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, has given nod to three farm bills which are anti-farmers in nature and affect Punjab badly, stir against these legislations is going to be intensified and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will also sit on dharna over it at Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s native village Khatkarh Kalan in SBS Nagar on September 28 on his birth anniversary.

The CM said he would sit on dharna against these legislations implemented by BJP-led union government after paying tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at his samadh.

Expressing his views on the President’s assent to the Farm Bills Captain Amarinder Singh said his government is exploring all options, including possible amendments to the state laws, to protect the interests of the farmers.

All farmer organisations and other stakeholders would be taken into confidence before taking any decision on the way forward, the Chief Minister said, adding that the state government was committed to the procurement of every single grain of the farmers without compromising on the pricing. His 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, he said.

“Besides legal recourse, our government is looking at other options to scuttle the Centre’s new Agriculture laws that are designed to ruin Punjab’s farmers and economy”, said the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister expressed disappointment and anguish over the decision of President Ram Nath Kovind to give the nod to the three unconstitutional and anti-farmer Agriculture Bills, without giving the Congress and other Opposition parties the opportunity to put their concerns before the Parliament. The President’s assent had 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.

He added, “Implementation of these dangerous new laws in their current form will destroy Punjab’s agriculture – the lifeline of its economy. The very livelihood of farmers is at stake due to these legislations, which the Government of India has succeeded in imposing on the states and the farming community by brute majority”.

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