Close on the heels of Congress president Sonia Gandhi proposing the negation of three central farm-related laws by bringing in state-specific legislations, the states ruled by her party are mulling convening special assembly sessions for the purpose. The AICC legal team last week drafted a model law for states to take reference from for passing the relevant legislations in their respective assemblies. The Congress-ruled states will soon convene an assembly session to annul the central farm laws, a party source said. The chief ministers of Congress-ruled Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Puducherry have already made it clear that they will not implement the central farm laws in their respective jurisdictions.
They also said they will get a new bill in their state assemblies to annul these laws. The Congress is strongly opposing the three legislations and it has launched a countrywide protests against them.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi had recently advised the party-ruled states to pass laws in their respective assemblies under Article 254(2) of the Constitution. The Congress claims that rules under Article 245(2) allow a state legislature to enforce laws “repugnant to the parliament law", a provision used by the BJP earlier against the Land Acquisition Act enacted by the UPA. The sources said that while Congress-ruled states are set to pass the law, some of the non-NDA ruled states are also likely to pass it, as they are opposed to the central farm legislations.
Parliament had passed 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 during the Monsoon Session and the president granted his assent for them. The laws seek to liberalise the agriculture sector and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.
The model law brought by the Congress shall declare “null, void and inoperative" anything that is inconsistent in the three central legislations with the state law. It will also include a provision to ensure that no farmer shall be paid below the minimum support price for the price of the produce. The draft model bill seeks to ensure safeguards for farmers including the minimum support price regime and the framework under the APMC Act to protect their interests.