Punjab politics heat up: Cong calls agitation, AAP wants special Assembly session

| | Chandigarh
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Punjab politics heat up: Cong calls agitation, AAP wants special Assembly session

Wednesday, 17 June 2020 | PNS | Chandigarh

Punjab’s political scene is heating up over the Central Government’s agricultural reforms by passing three ordinances. While the state’s ruling party, Congress, on Tuesday decided to launch a statewide mass agitation from June 19 against the amendments in the Agricultural Marketing Act, the state’s principal opposition party — Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — has demanded to convene a special Assembly session on ordinances passed by the Union Government.

Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar, while presiding over a meeting of Ministers, MPs, MLAs and other office bearers, said that the Centre had recently enacted three new laws regarding marketing of crops and all “tantamount to locking up agriculture once they are implemented”.

The Centre has planned to completely destroy the farmers by implementing the amended law, he said adding that the party would launch state-wide campaign to create awareness among the farmers and other sections about the adverse effects of these laws on the entire economy of Punjab.

“The agitation that will start from Fatehgarh Sahib, and would be followed by similar small gatherings at all district headquarters to inform the MLAs and DCC officials, Sarpanches, Zila Parishad and Block Samiti members about the adverse effects of these laws on the farmers. They will further brief people in detail about the hidden agenda of the BJP and Akali Dal’s studded silence on the issue,” he said.

He said that the Union Government “conspired” to abolish MSP for crops. “If this happens, not only the farmers but also the arhtiya, transporters and other stakeholders in the sector will suffer and finally, it will prove fatal to the interests of the states,” he added.

Jakhar appealed to party functionaries to go from village to village to apprise people of Central Government's fatal policies for farmers and inform them about its adverse effects. “Whenever approval is given in view of COVID-19 threat, Punjab MLAs would also march from Punjab Bhawan to the Prime Minister's residence,” he added.



Punjab’s unit of Aam Aadmi Party has stressed the need for convening a special session of Punjab Assembly on the issue of three ordinances passed by the Union Government recently which, it claimed, would hit the agriculture sector hard, leaving teeming millions of farmers and labourers and others in the state to rue and rant for life.

Party delegation, led by Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, met Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh on Tuesday to hand over a memorandum over the “anti-farmer and anti-state” ordinances.

“The three ordinances are nothing but a political gimmickry on the part of the Union Government in the name of agricultural reforms,” the memorandum adding that the ordinances had come as a boon for the patronized few corporate houses, while it was indeed a curse for the farming fraternity across the country.

The party demanded that the Punjab Government should convene a special Assembly session comprising the elected representatives of all political parties to discuss threadbare the anti-Punjab and anti-farmer ordinances being imposed upon the farmers, and the same should be telecasted live.



SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday asked the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to mislead Punjabis by indulging in farcical opposition to the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce Ordinance-2020 when his Government had included its provisions in the State Agriculture Produce Markets Act (APMC) by amending it in 2017.

He asked the Chief Minister to tell Punjabis why his Government had amended the APMC Act to allow creation of private markets, direct marketing, electronic agricultural marketing and single unified license for entire State in 2017.

“Not only this, the Congress Government was party to the passing of the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce Ordinance-2020 as it not only participated in the consultative process but also gave feedback to the Centre that it had already amended the State APMC Act to enable implementation of the proposed Ordinance,” he said.

Sukhbir said that the Chief Minister should explain under which logic he was demanding withdrawal of the ordinance when he had paved way for making it a reality by amending the APMC Act and notified the same on August 14, 2017.

“As always, Capt Amarinder is trying to deceive the farmers of Punjab. His statement demanding withdrawal of the Ordinance is nothing but a ploy to inflame sentiments and play politics over a sensitive matter which concerns the welfare of the farmers of the State,” he said.

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