The row over the three Central agriculture bills in Punjab got intense today with both ruling Congress and the opposition Akali Dal trying to placate the angry farmers. While Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Governor VP Singh Badnore, the Akalis made a beeline for BJP chief JP Nadda.
Amarinder Singh submitted a memorandum to the Governor, seeking his intervention to stop the laws, which farmers say will hurt their interests.
Mr Singh told the Governor that any move to tinker with the current procurement system amid the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis, may increase the unrest among the farmers. He also said it “may not be conducive for the peace and development of the region, which faces serious challenges of public order due to a live international border”.
He also termed the Shiromani Akali Dal’s sudden U-turn over the laws, calling it a “farce”. In face of the wrath of farmers, the Akalis claimed yesterday that they had not been consulted about the ordinances and the corresponding bills.
Farmers across Punjab and Haryana have been on the warpath against the ordinances brought on June 5 — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.
On Tuesday, the Lok Sabha passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which seeks to deregulate food items, including cereals, pulses and onion.
The farmers have warned that any MP from the state who support these bills will not be allowed to enter the villages.