Chandigarh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday vowed to fight the “malicious” new agriculture Acts constitutionally and legally, asserting that he will do whatever it takes to protect the farmers from the “nefarious designs” of the Central government.
Addressing the media, he said he would be consulting lawyers to work out the legal course of action for challenging the “unconstitutional” laws in the Supreme Court.
Agitation and legal recourse will have to be undertaken simultaneously to fight these new laws and force the Union government to rethink its decision, he said.
Asserting that he does not want Punjab’s youth and farmers to take to arms to fight for their right to live, Amarinder Singh warned that these new laws will endanger the security of the border state of Punjab, as Pakistan’s ISI was always on the lookout for opportunities to foment trouble.
Punjab has lost 35,000 lives to terrorism in senseless violence in the past and with the unrest among the farmers spreading to other states, the entire nation would be exposed to the ISI threat, he said, adding Pakistan-backed forces will try to feed on the anger in India.
Pointing out that 150 terrorists had been nabbed in Punjab in recent months and a huge amount of arms and ammunition seized, the Chief Minister said he would not let anyone disturb the state’s peaceful atmosphere, which the new legislations had the potential to do.
Congress General Secretary in charge of Punjab, Harish Rawat, who was accompanying the Chief Minister, announced a signature campaign beginning October 2 to collect two crore signatures of farmers against the new farm Laws.
These will be submitted to the President on November 14 to coincide with Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary, he said, adding “kisan sammelans” would also be organised to take the fight to its logical conclusion.
Describing Amarinder Singh as the protector of farmers, Rawat said the farming community was pinning its hopes on the Chief Minister to lead them in this war against the “black laws” promulgated by the Centre.
He took a dig at the Akalis, saying they had remained silent for a long time and were now coming to take credit for the fight for farmers’ rights.
Slamming the step-motherly treatment meted out on Punjabis and Punjab’s farmers to make big corporates like the Adanis happy, Amarinder Singh asked: “Will the Adanis subsidise food for poor Indians?”
These laws will spell the death knell for the PDS system, apart from ruining Punjab and its farmers, he added.
Terming the new legislations as a total violation of the nation’s federal structure, the Chief Minister described the enactment of the farm Bills as “a black day” for Punjab.
The manner in which the laws were brought in through the ordinances route and then pushed through Parliament without discussion was deplorable, he said, asserting that contrary to the lies being spread by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Punjab government was never once apprised of the move to bring in such ordinances.