Never backed Centre’s agri ordinances, says Punjab CM

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Published on Sep 15, 2020 01:36 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Chandigarh

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday rejected the Centre’s claim that the state was taken on board before the promulgation of farm-related ordinances presented in Parliament and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to go ahead with the legislation.

Amarinder was reacting to a statement of Union minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve in Parliament.

Danve had said a high-powered committee on agriculture had decided on the ordinances after due consideration by all member states. The CM said at no point did Punjab endorse any such move.

Pointing out that Punjab was initially excluded from the committee set up by the Centre in July 2019, Captain said it was only after his government’s protest the state was included in the panel in August 2019. By that time, the committee had already held its first meeting, he said.

In the second meeting, on August 16, 2019, state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal represented Punjab, and only certain fiscal issues related to agriculture were discussed, he said. Subsequently, the draft report of the committee was circulated for comments and Punjab had again made its stand clear, strongly opposing any move to dilute the farmer-friendly laws, the CM said.

“The central government did not address Punjab’s comments and, in fact, there was no meeting or discussion at all thereafter. Instead, the Centre chose to promulgate the ordinances in June 2020,” he added.

Amarinder also announced that he will lead an 11-member Congress delegation on Wednesday to submit a memorandum against the ordinances to the governor.

Besides the chief minister, the delegation will comprise Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, ministers and MLAs, an official spokesperson said.

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