Congress-led states consider party Bill to negate anti-farmer laws

As President Ram Nath Kovind gives his assent to the three agriculture Bills, Congress-led states discuss future moves to fight against the anti-farmer laws.

Farmer protest

Congress ruled states are considering an early special assembly session to nullify the three central agriculture laws that the party has resisted whole-heartedly, said Tribune India on October 4, 2020.

Legal Advisor and Spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi readied a draft model law for the states that would attempt to negate Centre’s laws with new laws during the special session. According to news reports, the Bill is called the “Farmers Right and Special Security Provision Bill 2020.”

The draft demands that states should enjoy the power to decide the date of implementation of the Centre’s laws. It also stated that contract farming among farmers and companies should be undertaken while considering a Minimum Support Price (MSP.) As of yet, it is unclear whether states that enjoy Congress-alliance-majority are going to act on the draft law.

The three laws in objection are the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation), the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. The Centre assures farmers that these laws will ensure free trade for farmers. However, farmers remain apprehensive of these laws that fail to address the issue  of MSP and make local market systems obsolete.

Earlier, the Party Chief Sonia Gandhi had asked Congress-ruled states to use constitutional provisions that allow states to negate Central agriculture reforms and marketing-related laws that received consent of President Ram Nath Kovind.

Gandhi sent a message to Chief Ministers of Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Puducherry recently citing exclusive state rights over subjects like agriculture and agricultural pricing. She said that it went against the federal structure of the Indian Constitution if the Centra made laws on state subjects.



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