The Bhupesh Baghel government in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday suffered a blow after Governor Anusuiya Uikey returned a file seeking permission to convene a special assembly session. According to a report in The Indian Express, the Congress government wants to pass a farm bill to counter the Centre's three farm laws that are at the heart of nationwide protests.
The government had sent a proposal to the Governor to hold the session on October 27-28. But the Governor questioned the need for a special session.
The Governor in his reply noted that the Monsoon session of the Assembly concluded less than two months ago.
Reacting to the Governor's move, Baghel said that Anusuiya Uikey has asked some questions which "we will respond". He exuded confidence that the Governor will allow the session.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Punjab Assembly adopted a resolution against the Modi government's three farm laws and also passed four bills to counter the farm laws enacted by Parliament last month.
The opposition parties have been arguing that the Modi government's three bills -- The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are aimed at handing over the farming sector to corporates and that farmers will not get benefit of the MSP.
But the government maintains that the bills give freedom to farmers to sell their produce outside the notified APMC market yards (mandis). This is aimed at facilitating remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels. Farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce under the act. Besides, farmers will get the right to enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers for the sale of future farming produce at a pre-agreed price. It seeks to transfer the risk of market unpredictability from farmers to sponsors.
Soon after the Punjab Assembly cleared the bills, state Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said other non-BJP ruled states are likely to follow suit as chief ministers and finance ministers of states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana have been in touch with him for getting a copy of the Punjab bills to replicate them in their respective state assemblies. The minister claimed that anger is brewing in Punjab against the BJP-led central government and farmers have taken to the streets ever since the Centre enacted the three farm bills.
The four bills passed by Punjab are likely to be referred to the President since they go against the central laws. As per the Constitution, the bills will require the Presidential assent.