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Punjab CM, MLAs meet Guv; press for nod to Bills against farm laws

Expressing his gratitude for the support of all parties to the resolution and the Bills, the chief minister said the message that Punjab is united against the “black farm laws” will go out to farmers across the country. During his 20-minute meeting with the governor, Amarinder Singh was accompanied by state Congress president Sunil Jakhar, Leader of Opposition and AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema, SAD’s Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and other MLAs. Asked about the possibility of the Centre imposing the President’s rule in the state to scuttle attempts to negate the farm laws, Amarinder Singh said, "Let’s wait and see.

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 20-10-2020 18:17 IST | Created: 20-10-2020 18:17 IST
Punjab CM, MLAs meet Guv; press for nod to Bills against farm laws

(Eds: With updates) Chandigarh, Oct 20 (PT) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday met Governor V P Singh Badnore after the state assembly unanimously passed four Bills against the Centre’s farm laws and hoped that he will give his nod to the legislations. Accompanied by state MLAs, including those from the Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party, the chief minister told reporters that he hopes the governor “will listen to the voice of Punjab”. BJP legislators were not part of the delegation that met the governor. The party has two MLAs who also skipped the special assembly session called against the farm laws.

All MLAs who met the governor urged him to accord his assent to the Bills at the earliest. During the meeting, the CM handed over copies of the legislations and the resolution adopted against the farm laws.

In case the governor does not give his approval to the Bills passed by the assembly, the CM said his government will take legal recourse. The chief minister said he has sought time from President Ram Nath Kovind between November 2 and 5 and all Punjab legislators will together go to him to seek his intervention in the interest of the state.

The chief minister said he does not think the Centre could afford to ignore the voice of Punjab and hoped they would realise that “killing MSP would spell the death knell for farming”. The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed four Bills and adopted a resolution against the Centre's farm laws.

The Bills were passed after an over five-hour discussion, in which BJP MLAs did not take part. The Opposition SAD, AAP and Lok Insaaf MLAs backed the legislations.

“Punjab’s future and national security are both at stake,” Amarinder Singh said, adding that the coming together of all parties is a good thing for the state. Expressing his gratitude for the support of all parties to the resolution and the Bills, the chief minister said the message that Punjab is united against the “black farm laws” will go out to farmers across the country.

During his 20-minute meeting with the governor, Amarinder Singh was accompanied by state Congress president Sunil Jakhar, Leader of Opposition and AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema, SAD’s Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and other MLAs. Asked about the possibility of the Centre imposing the President’s rule in the state to scuttle attempts to negate the farm laws, Amarinder Singh said, "Let’s wait and see. We will move step by step." However, if the situation comes to such a pass, the Centre will not need to dismiss him, as he was carrying his resignation in his pocket and would give it willingly, rather than compromising on the interests of Punjab and its farmers, he said. The CM said his government will bring more pro-farm and pro-poor Bills in the House on Wednesday.

In response to a question, Amarinder Singh said paddy worth crores of rupees was lying in godowns and needed to be shifted out to make way for wheat. “Coal stocks have run out and urea is in short supply,” he said, adding that this is badly impacting both agriculture and the industry in the state.

He again appealed to farmers to call off their "rail roko" agitation and carry out their protests through dharnas, which he said was their democratic right. Referring to the absence of the BJP MLAs from the House, the chief minister said this showed their lack of concern and love for the farmers.

The Congress, in contrast, had already announced its unequivocal opposition to the central legislations, he added. AAP leader Harpal Cheema said they are all working together, rising above party lines, in the interest of farmers.

SAD leader Sharanjit Dhillon warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi against dismissing Punjab as a small state, which he could easily ignore..


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