Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Tuesday demanded an unconditional apology from Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve for misleading the nation on farm ordinances issue from the floor of the House in a clear and complete breach of parliamentary principles and propriety.
Rejecting as totally incorrect Danve’s statement in the Lok Sabha on Monday about Punjab being on board the anti-farmer ordinances, the Chief Minister said the remarks of the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution were aimed at defaming the Congress and its government in the state.
The Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has also slammed the Minister for violating the sanctity of Parliament with his false statement on the issue in the House on Monday, and termed it an attempt to denigrate the Congress government in Punjab with misleading information.
The Chief Minister said that at no point did the high-powered committee make any suggestion about bringing these anti-farmers ordinances, which the Centre introduced on the sly amid the pandemic and has now been placed in Parliament for enactment through false pretensions. The minister should apologise immediately and unequivocally for presenting false facts in the Lok Sabha, said Capt Amarinder Singh, describing the statement in Lok Sabha as undemocratic and unethical, and a violation of parliamentary principles.
Parliament is the shrine for upholding the ideals of democracy and any attempt to defy these principles is dangerous for the nation’s Constitutional foundations, he added.
The Punjab government has consistently and persistently opposed any move to dilute the rights and interests of the farmers, not only in the high-powered committee on agricultural reforms but in the state Assembly and on all public forums, he added. It was his government which had initiated the resolution in the Vidhan Sabha rejecting the ordinances, he pointed out, adding that he personally had written twice to the Prime Minister seeking withdrawal of the anti-farmer and anti-farmer legislations that would spell the death-knell of the farming community in Punjab.
The report of the high-powered committee, of which Punjab was made a member weeks after it was constituted, nowhere suggested any ordinance or central law to be enacted by the Union government, said the Chief Minister, emphatically rejecting any claim to the contrary. In fact, he said, the focus of the report was largely on market reforms wherein the implementation of APMC Act 2003/APLM Act, 2017, had been emphasised. Similarly, adoption of Model Contract Farming Act or its variants depending upon the state requirements had been stressed upon in the draft report.
The CM pointed out that the state government had, in its written response, also said that “the EC Act must be continued for those crops in which India is deficient in order to prevent the exploitative action of the private sector by hoarding and black marketeering.” The price trigger suggested in the report for any action on stock limits are required to be lowered from 100% increase in case of horticulture produce and 50% increase in case of non-perishables, it had further stated.
The sharing pattern of most of schemes is 60:40 (Centre:State) and this needs to be changed to 90:10 for Punjab state, as the state, while pioneering the green revolution in the country, played a major role in making the nation self-reliant in food grain production, the Punjab government had submitted, adding that it was now the Centre’s turn to support the farmers.
Rejecting the Centre’s claim that Punjab was taken on board before the promulgation of the anti-farmer Ordinances, Capt. Amarinder Singh also announced that he will lead an 11-member delegation of his party on Wednesday to submit a memorandum to the Governor against the dangerous ordinances. The delegation will include Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar along with some ministers and MLAs of the party, an official spokesperson said.