Punjab CM says his govt will move SC over new farm laws, warns against ISI threat

Punjab CM says his govt will move SC over new farm laws, warns against ISI threat
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh along with Congress leaders stage a protest over the recent farm bills at Khatkar Kalam in SBS Nagar. PTI

Khatkar Kalan: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said his government would approach the Supreme Court over the issue of new farm laws.

Talking to reporters here, he also suggested that Pakistan's spy agency ISI will use farmers' unrest over the new farm laws and will try to foment trouble in the border state of Punjab.

Amarinder Singh, along with AICC general secretary and Punjab Affairs in-charge Harish Rawat, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar and others, paid tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his 113th birth anniversary at Khatkar Kalan village in SBS Nagar district.

Amarinder Singh, Rawat and others held a sit-in protest here against the new farm laws.

Addressing the gathering, the CM slammed the Centre for bringing the farm laws, saying they would "destroy" the farming community.

"I have said we will take this matter forward. The president has passed these bills and now we will take this matter to the Supreme Court," Singh said.

Stating that his government would take every possible step to protect the interest of the farming community, he said two advocates from Delhi would be coming here on Tuesday and the matter would be discussed with them.

To another question, he said, "The ISI always looks to whom and where it can give guns, bombs and grenades. They have been following it since the beginning. During the last three and half years of our regime, we have arrested around 150 terrorists and seized around 700 weapons.

"There has been peace in Punjab but when you try to take away someone's food, then won't he be angry. He becomes the target for ISI. That is why I am saying whatever they have done is anti-national," Singh added.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave assent to three contentious farm bills that have triggered protests by farmers, especially in Punjab.

According to a gazette notification, the president gave assent to three bills -- the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Defending farmers for holding protests over the farm laws, the CM said they had the right to do so as you are taking away their livelihood.

He accused the central government of snatching the rights of states.

"Now you have taken away (right over) the farm sector. Which thing will you leave with states? Will you leave it or not? You have taken away everything (from states). How will we run our states?" he added.

Talking to the media later, the CM expressed hope that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi would join protests against the new farm laws.

"We are going to request him to join us. Daily he is tweeting and making statements, saying whatever they (government) have done with farmers is a fraud. He will certainly join us," he said.

Slamming the Shiromani Akali Dal, which has exited the NDA, the CM said, "Akali Dal is now in a total lose-lose situation. You will find they will lose all over. They will try to use some other tactic that is not going to work because once you have let people down, once you have told them what sort of people you are nobody will trust you again."

Earlier addressing the gathering, former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat said the Congress would fight farmers' battle.

He accused the BJP-led central government of "demolishing" the minimum support price, mandi system and PDS (public distribution system) with these farm laws.

"Their motive is to demolish everything which farmers have got after a long struggle. From the green and white revolution to till now, rights which farmers acquired, one by one all of them are being demolished with these farm laws," Singh said.

"MSP and mandi system will be dismantled with these farm laws and their next target is FCI," he said, claiming that they also want to demolish the Public Distribution System.

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