The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Post Office Bill, 2023 after Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw assured the House that interception provisions in the Bill was meant for national security purposes only, keeping in view the current challenging times.
Strongly opposing the Union government’s “arbitrary introduction of the Electricity Amendment Bill-2022 in Parliament without even consulting the states”, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday termed the move as an attack on the constitutional rights of the states.
“Through such nefarious designs the Union government is weakening the foundations of the federal structure” said the CM adding this is another attempt made by the Centre government to undermine the authority of the states.
He said the Union government should not consider the states as puppets. Mann said states will not sit silently against this attempt of the Union government to dilute the federal spirit of our democracy.
The CM said states will fight from the road to the parliament to protect their rights. He said the Union government should have consulted the states before introducing any bill related to the power sector. Mann said instead of consulting, this Bill is being imposed on the states, which is a direct attack on the federal structure.
Questioning the Centre’s intentions, the CM said when the states provide electricity to their residents on their own, then why their feedback has not been sought while introducing a new bill. Citing the example of Punjab, he said that farmers in the state are being given free electricity for agriculture.
Likewise, Mann said that free power supply is also provided to domestic consumers and if the centre is amending the bills as per their own conditions, the farmers and other sections will get a big blow as states like Punjab will not be able to continue such pro-people initiatives.
Warning the Centre to desist from playing with fire, Mann urged it to not repeat the previous mistake of implementing “draconian” agricultural laws. He asked the government to reconsider its decision of introducing the Electricity Amendment Bill as the people of the country will never tolerate such unilateral decisions.
Mann demanded that the Central Government should take feedback from the states before enacting any law in the power sector, which will directly affect every citizen of the country.