NO CON­SEN­SUS AT ALL-PARTY MEET CALLED BY CAPT ON CEN­TRE’S AGRI OR­DI­NANCES

SAD, BJP refuse to go with Cong gov­ern­ment’s res­o­lu­tion on with­drawal; all par­ties firm on con­tin­u­a­tion of MSP and as­sured mar­ket­ing

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The Cen­tre has no right to in­ter­fere in agri­cul­ture. I will stand with the farm­ers and peo­ple of Pun­jab as I had done on the is­sue of wa­ter shar­ing.

AMARINDER SINGH, chief min­is­ter

It is shock­ing that Congress, which is re­spon­si­ble for sys­tem­at­i­cally de­mol­ish­ing In­dia’s fed­eral struc­ture, is talk­ing about it now.

SUKHBIR BADAL, SAD pres­i­dent

The or­di­nances are against fed­er­al­ism prin­ci­ple. The cen­tre is now try­ing to take over an­other state sub­ject, agri­cul­ture.

BHAGWANT MANN, AAP state chief

CHANDI­GARH: An all-party meet­ing con­vened by Pun­jab chief min­is­ter Amarinder Singh on Wed­nes­day failed to ar­rive at a con­sen­sus on the three agri­cul­ture mar­ket­ing re­forms or­di­nances pro­mul­gated by the Cen­tre.

There was no agree­ment among the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties on the de­mand for with­drawal of the or­di­nances and their le­gal sta­tus with the Akali Dal and the BJP, which are part of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, dif­fer­ing with the state’s rul­ing Congress and others.

The four-hour meet­ing held through video-con­fer­enc­ing was fol­lowed by claims and coun­ter­claims. The Congress gov­ern­ment and the op­po­si­tion SAD gave con­trast­ing ver­sions of the pro­ceed­ings and the lat­ter’s stance on key res­o­lu­tions. All par­ties were firm and to­gether in their in­sis­tence on con­tin­u­a­tion of the MSP regime and as­sured mar­ket­ing, though.

Af­ter the meet­ing, an of­fi­cial state­ment from the state gov­ern­ment claimed that all ma­jor par­ties, bar­ring the BJP, re­solved to ap­peal to the Cen­tre to im­me­di­ately with­draw the three “an­ti­farmer” or­di­nances in pub­lic in­ter­est, but the SAD was quick to is­sue a re­but­tal. “We will go to the Prime Min­is­ter to clear any doubts and get an as­sur­ance that MSP and as­sured mar­ket­ing will con­tinue,” the party said, clearly dis­tanc­ing it­self from the move to seek with­drawal of or­di­nances.

The gov­ern­ment said the BJP com­pletely op­posed the res­o­lu­tion whereas the SAD, while ini­tially ex­press­ing their reser­va­tions, even­tu­ally de­cided to par­tially en­dorse it.

The res­o­lu­tion read that “a del­e­ga­tion of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of all po­lit­i­cal par­ties led by the chief min­is­ter would meet the PM and

Union agri­cul­ture min­is­ter to con­vey their strong reser­va­tions on th­ese anti-farmer leg­is­la­tions and urge them to im­me­di­ately with­draw th­ese.” It stated that “agri­cul­ture” and “mar­kets” are “state sub­jects” un­der the Sev­enth Sched­ule and the present or­di­nances are against the spirit of co­op­er­a­tive fed­er­al­ism en­shrined in the Con­sti­tu­tion.

SAD pres­i­dent Sukhbir Singh Badal said the party would like a le­gal opin­ion be­fore terming the or­di­nances as against the spirit of co­op­er­a­tive fed­er­al­ism. The res­o­lu­tion was, how­ever, passed by the Congress and other par­ties.

Dub­bing the or­di­nances as “dan­ger­ous’, the CM said: “It will lead to an un­prece­dented cri­sis for Pun­jab.”

SAD spokesper­son Dal­jeet Cheema dubbed the gov­ern­ment’s state­ment as false. “Both SAD and BJP are on the same page and firmly con­veyed that th­ese Acts have noth­ing to do with MSP,” he said.

At the meet­ing, Pun­jab Congress pres­i­dent Su­nil Jakhar said the or­di­nances were vi­ola­tive of the spirit of co­op­er­a­tive fed­er­al­ism. Jakhar also hit out at Sukhbir for be­ing un­sure and re­peat­edly shift­ing his stance.

BJP state pres­i­dent Ash­wani Sharma termed the or­di­nances as pro-farmer, and de­nied any move to kill the MSP regime.

AAP state unit chief and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said not only farm­ers, but the arhtiyas and small traders will also be im­pacted by th­ese laws.

DHINDSA TOO GETS IN­VITE

The gov­ern­ment had in­vited Sukhdev Dhindsa for the meet­ing. Dhindsa cited the Anand­pur Sahib res­o­lu­tion to claim that the SAD al­ways spoke about more pow­ers to states whereas th­ese or­di­nances were de­signed to di­lute the same.

HT PHOTO

CM Capt Amarinder Singh ob­serv­ing two-minute si­lence in a trib­ute to the Gal­wan brave­hearts be­fore the all-party meet­ing that was held through video-con­fer­enc­ing on Wed­nes­day.

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