Congress government in Rajasthan upset with Governor for withholding farm Bills passed by Vidhan Sabha
“I do not know under what pressure the Governor is sitting on the Bills and has not sent them to the President for his assent,” said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot
The Congress government in Rajasthan is upset with the Governor Kalraj Mishra for withholding the farm produce related Bills passed by the Vidhan Sabha in November this year. The Governor is yet to send them to the President for his assent.
“I do not know under what pressure the Governor is sitting on the Bills and has not sent them to the President for his assent,” said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2020 were passed by the Assembly after an eight-hour debate.
The Bills provided for Minimum Sales Prices (MSP) for contract farming for seven crops. Like Punjab, they provide for three to seven years of imprisonment for harassment of farmers.
AICC general secretary Ajay Makan said that the Bills become law only after the President’s assent, but the Governor’s act of withholding them is against the democratic process. He said that Article 254(2) of the Constitution allows a state to make changes to Central legislation on a subject on the concurrent list only if it gets Presidential assent.
The governors of both Punjab and Chhattisgarh too have withheld the Bills passed by the two states. These two states, like Rajasthan, have passed their own Bills relating to farmers and farm produce.
Gehlot said the chief ministers of Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Puducherry along with Rajasthan requested the President for an appointment to explain their viewpoints on the merits and demerits of the farm laws enacted by the Centre but the President did not grant an appointment to them.
He said that though there was a drastic reduction in the international prices of oil, the NDA government had not passed on the benefit to the farmers. Instead, the fuel prices continue to rise as the Modi government increased the excise duty on it. He complained that the state should get its share under devolution but the same was not the case.
Gehlot said that the Union government should decide on the issues relating to the farm laws as it has been almost a month since the farmers’ agitation started.
He said he always believed in positive politics and when during the crisis in the state the group led by Sachin Pilot wanted to come back to the party’s fold, he had commented “forgive and forget”. He said it was a clear hint that he wanted the dissension to dissolve amicably.
Gehlot listed the achievements of his government and said that his government would focus on scientific exploration of minerals including potash which is a prized mineral and is currently being imported by India.