13:08 GMT26 November 2020
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    Opposition party Congress-led Punjab government became the first state to challenge the contentious farm laws, enacted by federal government led by Narendra Modi last month. Protests have since comtinued unabated primarily in Haryana and Punjab states as demonstrators deem the laws “anti-farmer”.

    Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday introduced three bills in the state assembly to counter the national government's farm legislation, stating that the laws violate India's constitution.

    Congress party politician Singh moved a resolution on the second day of a special assembly session in Punjab over the contentious farm laws.

    “The three farm legislations, along with the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020, are clearly against the interests of farmers and landless workers, and a time-tested agriculture marketing system, established not only in Punjab but also in Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh,” Singh told the Assembly.

    On Monday, Punjab's opposition parties slammed Singh for not tabling the bills on the first day of the special Assembly session. Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers staged sit-protests which lasted all night in the House.

    The Punjab government is also consulting constitutional experts to seek legal remedies in order to reverse the BJP government’s farm laws.

    The three bills introduced by Singh are the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment Bill 2020, the Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill 2020.

    While India's agriculture sector employs about half of the country's 1.35 billion people, equal to approximately twice the population of the US, it accounts for less than 15 percent of the nation's $2.9 trillion economy.

    The people in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, dubbed India’s grain bowls, oppose farm laws, as they are concerned that the new legislation will give power to big agrobusiness by depriving small farmers of state-guaranteed minimum prices for their produce. 

    Related:

    Rahul Gandhi of India’s Opposition Congress Party Begins ‘Tractor Rallies’ Against Farm Laws
    India’s Top Court Serves Notice to Federal Gov’t on Petitions Challenging Farm Laws
    India's Rice Bowl to Become First State to Defy Modi's Farm Laws
    Tags:
    Punjab, Congress, new legislation, Legislation, farm, protest, India
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