Will Challenge Essential Commodities Act In Court, Says Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh
A farmer holds wheat grain in France. (Photographer: Laurel Chor/Bloomberg)

Will Challenge Essential Commodities Act In Court, Says Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh

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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the state Congress will challenge the Essential Commodities Act 2020 in the court of law. He described the legislation a direct and deliberate assault by the Centre on the farmers' interests.

Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Essential Commodities Bill, 2020 which seeks to deregulate food items, including cereals, pulses and onion, a move aimed at transforming the farm sector and raising farmers' income.

Also read: Lok Sabha Clears Bill To Amend Essential Commodities Act

Riding roughshod over the farmers' concerns, the central government, of which the Shiromani Akali Dal is a constituent, has imposed a central law on a state subject, thus eroding the federal structure of the country, said the CM. We will challenge it in court, he said in a statement here.

Asserting that he will not allow the farmers' interests to be compromised in this shameless manner, Singh said the enactment of the legislation is a step towards the abolition of the MSP (minimum support price) regime.

It is a conspiracy on the part of the BJP-led NDA government to destroy Punjab and its farmers, he alleged and declared that the Congress would fight this attack on the state's interests tooth and nail.

The legislation talks about encouraging competition among farmers. Do they expect poor farmers, who are only competing with themselves for survival every day, to rival big corporates for protecting their interests? Asked the CM.

Noting that the enactment, along with the other two farm ordinances that the Centre has already tabled in the Lok Sabha, was in line with the recommendations of the Shanta Kumar committee, Singh said.

The same committee had also suggested dismantling of the MSP regime. It is evident that the NDA government is now moving towards the elimination of the MSP system, he alleged.

The CM also took on Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal, accusing him of failing to protect the interests of Punjab's farmers. Sukhbir and his SAD were clearly a party to the treachery of the Union government, which has paved the way for taking away the rights of the farmers, he alleged. Will, you quit the ruling coalition at the Centre? The CM asked Sukhbir.

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