Even as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi described the Narendra Modi government’s controversial farm laws as an “attack on India’s soul”, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday said his government is going to pass in the Assembly whatever resolution or Bill which will be needed to counter the Centre’s agri laws’ “dangerous impact on the nation”.
Addressing a public rally in Bhawanigarh on the second day of the Congress party’s three-day Kheti Bachao Yatra as part of its campaign against the Centre’s contentious farm laws, the CM warned that these “anti-farmers” laws would destroy the Mandi Board and bring all rural development to a standstill, and would “end the public distribution system system as the Adanis and Ambanis will not care one bit for the poor”. Capt Amarinder vowed to do whatever it takes to protect the farmers and the state from the devastating effects of these “black laws”.
“Will you go to Adanis and Ambanis when in need, as you do with the Arhtiyas (grain commission agents) at present?” he asked the farmers rhetorically.
The Punjab CM told the people in the heartland of the Malwa region, which produces the highest yield in wheat and paddy crops, that “the Modi government had backtracked on every single promise, be it the constitutional promise of Goods and Services Tax or employment or doubling of farmers’ income”.
For seven months, Punjab has not got its share of GST, leaving the state struggling to manage amid the Covid pandemic, he said.
Asserting that the Congress and its members, with Rahul Gandhi leading the way, will fight for the farmers till their last breath, the CM appealed to Rahul to “repeal the black laws once he becomes Prime Minister”.
The Modi government does not know how agriculture works in Punjab and the country, Capt Amarinder said, adding that these central farm legislations would pave the way for scrapping MSP and winding up the Food Corporation of India as per the Shanta Kumar committee recommendations.
Warning that these laws will lead to closure of the mandis, Capt Amarinder said his government could not let the Union government do that and will take all steps, including a Assembly session to counter the new legislations and a move to challenge the Centre’s laws in the Supreme Court.
The CM said the future of agriculture itself in the country was at stake because of the farm laws, which the government sitting in New Delhi had forced on the farmers and the states. The small farmers, constituting 70 per cent of the farming community, would be totally ruined, he warned.
Vowing not to let the farming community come to any harm “come what may”, Capt Amarinder said Punjab and its farmers faced a longdrawn battle, exhorting the farmers to be ready for a long and difficult struggle.