Rajasthan Congress to stage protests against Governor for withholding Farm Bills passed by Vidhan Sabha

The Bills passed by the Vidhan Sabha can become laws only after the President’s assent, but even one month after their passage, the Governor has failed to forward them to him

Congress (PTI)
Congress (PTI)

Prakash Bhandari

Congress workers in Rajasthan will stage protests across the state on January 3 demanding that Governor Kalraj Mishra forwards the farm Bills passed by the Vidhan Sabha to the President for his assent.

The state Cabinet led by CM Ashok Gehlot which met on Wednesday also decided to hold dharnas against the farm laws enacted by the Centre on January 3. Congress leaders including all the present and past legislators and former parliamentarians will stage dharnas in their respective towns and cities. It's for the first time in the state that the ruling party has decided to launch an agitation against the farm laws through a Cabinet decision.

The Cabinet regretted that even a month after the Bills were passed by the Vidhan Sabha, the Governor is sitting on the Bills. The Bills were passed to prevent properties of farmers owning less than five acres from being attached.

It will be for the second time that the ruling government comes into a confrontation with the Governor. Earlier this year in August, the ministers and legislators of the Congress staged a dharna at the Raj Bhawan over the issue of convening the session of the Assembly as the ruling party wanted to prove its majority in the House, following Sachin Pilot’s rebellion against CM Ashok Gehlot. The Governor eventually had to convene the Assembly session where the ruling party proved its majority.

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 was passed by the Assembly after an eight-hour debate.

The Bills provide for Minimum Sale Prices (MSP) for contract farming for seven crops. Like Punjab, they provide for three to seven years of imprisonment for harassing farmers.

The Bills passed by the Vidhan Sabha can become laws only after the President’s assent. But the Governor is sitting on the Bills which is against the democratic process under Article 254(2) of the Constitution which allows a state to make changes to Central legislation on a subject on the Concurrent List if it gets Presidential assent.

The governors of both Punjab and Chhattisgarh too have withheld similar Bills passed by the two states.

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