The Punjab government led by Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said nothing short of repeal of the Centre’s “black” farm laws, which it described as anti-farmers, anti-nation and anti-food security, would resolve the present crisis triggered by the farmers’ agitation against the new legislations for agriculture sector.
The Central government is out of touch with the ground realities, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said at a meeting of the state council of ministers, whose members declared unequivocally that repeal of the farm laws was the only way out of the current imbroglio.
The council of ministers demanded that the Centre make the minimum support price (MSP) a statutory right of the farmers, who had been getting extremely low prices for their produce for the past several days despite being responsible for feeding the nation.
At the start of the meeting , the council of ministers observed a two-minutes silence in memory of farmers who have died during the agitation. An estimated 78 farmers have so far lost their lives, an official spokesperson said.
Stressing the need for an early resolution to the agitation to prevent further loss of life, the council pointed out that the matter has already been debated and discussed in eight rounds of negotiations held between the farmers and the Union government.
Pointing out that even the Supreme Court had acknowledged the concerns of the protesting farmers, and had recognised their pain and anguish, the council said the Centre should not stand on prestige and ego in this matter, which, if unresolved, could lead to devastating repercussions for the country for decades to come.
In a formal resolution, the Cabinet categorically reiterated its commitment to the Resolutions passed by the Punjab Assembly on 28 August, 2020 and 20 October 2020, stressing that all the genuine demands of the farmers must be accepted. Urging the Union government to “repeal the farm laws as agriculture is a state subject under the Constitution, and to make MSP a statutory right.”
It welcomed the Supreme Court order staying the Central legislations as acknowledgement of the concerns of the farmers of Punjab who are protesting against the Farm Laws, and recognition of their pain and anguish.
“There is a need for broad-based dialogue and proper consultation with all stakeholders as these legislations impact the future of millions of farmers across the country, and all genuine demands of the farmers must be accepted,” said the resolution.