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Punjab to bring amendment bills again to negate farm laws

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Tuesday that the state government will again introduce amendment bills to negate the ‘draconian’ farm laws in the Vidhan Sabha since the Governor had failed to send the earlier bills to President Ram Nath Kovind.

“We will bring the bills again as the Constitution provides that if bills are passed twice by the Vidhan Sabha, they have to be sent by the Governor to the President,” Amarinder Singh said, adding that the Governor should not have sat over the bills.

The state is empowered to amend the laws under Article 254 (ii) of the Constitution, he said.

Pointing out that the President had refused to meet Punjab leaders following the passage of the bills in the Vidhan Sabha on the ground that he had not received them, the Chief Minister told the all-party meeting that he will seek time from the President again.

Amarinder Singh said that he is in constant touch with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the issue of farm laws and the farmers’ protest, as suggested by the Prime Minister.

Underlining the need for an early resolution to the crisis, the Chief Minister said that the threat from Pakistan could not be undermined.

“We have to work to resolve this issue before things go out of hand,” he said, adding that he knew how many drones, arms, and ammunition are being smuggled into the state from across the border.

Recalling how Operation Bluestar happened soon after the prolonged two-month negotiations on an earlier crisis related to a list of some 42 demands, the Chief Minister warned that “if anger builds here, it will be exploited”.

Pointing out that the voice of the people is the strongest in a democracy, the Chief Minister stressed that “we will have to raise a united voice of Punjab”.

If there is no peace here, no industry will come to the state, he said.

The Chief Minister also slammed the Centre for penalizing Punjab and said it still owes the state Rs 13,000 crore of GST, which it has held back, along with Rs 1,200 crore of RDF.

Amarinder Singh promised to look into SAD’s Prem Singh Chandumajra’s suggestion that the state government should provide loan waiver to the families of all those killed during the ongoing farmers’ agitation.

Earlier in his opening remarks at the all-party meeting, the Chief Minister asserted that the meeting had been convened to evolve a consensus and send out the message that the whole of Punjab is with the agitating farmers, who have fed the nation right since the Green Revolution.

Regretting that New Delhi had failed to listen to the voice of Punjab and its farmers, he said that the Centre, instead of seeing the pain and discomfort of the farmers braving the cold at Delhi borders, seemed to have hardened its stance against the farmers.

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