Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday appealed to the Centre to immediately repeal its contentious farm laws and said his government will soon convene a special session of the Punjab Assembly to reject these.
Channi said he had earlier asked the then CM Amarinder Singh to reject the laws but the Cabinet at that time authorised him to take any decision, as he deems fit, according to a government statement.
He, however, chose to bring amended bills instead of rejecting these “draconian” farm legislations, he said.
Channi said his government will convene a special session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to reject the anti-farm laws outrightly to safeguard the interest of farmers and farm labourers, who are already passing through an acute economic crisis.
Urging the Centre to give due recognition to the border state of Punjab for its unprecedented sacrifices to uphold the country’s integrity and sovereignty, Channi said the Centre should not try to foment trouble rather it should sincerely resolve the farm crisis at the earliest in the larger interest of the country.
Reiterating his commitment to stand by farmers in the hour of crisis, the CM said he will even lead a march towards Delhi either by foot or on a bicycle to support their cause in case the Centre does not concede to their demand.
He bemoaned that these laws will ultimately perish the state’s peasantry as beleaguered farmers are already reeling under whopping debt to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore and thus the Centre should now come forward to bail them out from this financial crisis.
Channi said it is ironic that “annadata” has been virtually forced to become “beggar” due to the Centre’s “apathy and stubborn attitude”.
“If the Centre can afford to waive huge loans of big corporate houses what stops it from waiving the loans of poor and needy farmers,” asked Channi.
He, however, said the state government has already provided relief up to Rs 2 lakh to small and marginal farmers and now farm labourers are also being extended relief to the extent of Rs 25,000 with whatever little resources it had.