The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed four Bills and adopted a resolution against the Centre's farm laws. The Bills were passed after an over five-hour discussion, in which BJP MLAs did not take part. The BJP has two legislators in the assembly. The Opposition SAD, AAP and Lok Insaaf MLAs backed the legislations.
The state government's legislative counter provides for imprisonment of not less than three years and fine for sale or purchase of wheat or paddy under a farming agreement below the minimum support price. The provisions exempt farmers from attachment of land up to 2.5 acres and provide for prevention of hoarding and black marketing of agricultural produce.
Earlier, Chief Amarinder Singh had urged all parties to unanimously pass his government's historic Bills in the Vidhan Sabha. He had moved a resolution in Vidhan Sabha rejecting the three new farm laws and said they are against the interests of the farmers and landless workers.
Singh had moved three Bills — Amendment to the Farmers Produce Facilitation Act, Amendment to the Essential Commodities Act, Amendment to the Farmers Agreement and Farm Services Act — to counter Centre's farm laws.
Addressing the members of the House, Singh said agriculture is a state subject but the Centre ignored it. "I find it very strange what the government of India wants to do," he said.
Earlier on October 14, a decision to convene special session of the assembly was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Singh in Chandigarh. The chief minister had said that his government will fight the anti-federal and vicious farm laws tooth and nail through legislative, legal and other routes. The CM had said he would call a special session of the assembly to bring in necessary amendments to state laws to negate the dangerous impact of the central legislations, which are designed to ruin the farmers as well as the state's agriculture and economy.