The Congress has taken its opposition to Centre’s three controversial farm laws to the next level by asking states ruled by her party to consider bringing laws to overrule the new laws which have resulted in mass protests in several parts of the country.
“Hon’ble Congress President has asked the Congress-ruled states to explore the possibilities to pass laws in their states under Article 254(2) of the constitution which allows the state legislatures to pass a law to override a Central law which then comes for President Assent (sic),” senior Congress leader KC Venugopal tweeted.
The state legislature’s authority to pass a bill which stops a parliamentary law from being implemented in the state is restricted by the fact that it will eventually need the President’s approval to become a law.
President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the three highly-debated bills passed by parliament last night thus making them a law. The three farm reform laws are — the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act.
The Modi government claims that the new laws are farmer-friendly as they will make it easier for farmers to sell their produce directly to big buyers, thus removing the middlemen from the system.
The opposition parties do not buy the government’s argument. They feel the farmer will lose his bargaining power if retailers have a tight control over him. The parties also claim the proposed laws will destroy wholesale markets which ensure fair and timely payments to farmers and hit state economy.
Meanwhile, protests continue against the Acts across the country. On Monday, pro-farmer organisations backed by a number of other social and political outfits staged protests across Karnataka over amendments to Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act and land reform acts amid a statewide bandh.