All-Party Meet in Punjab Demands Repeal of Farm Laws
The parties urged the centre to redress the grievances of farmers in their fight against the farm laws.
Taking serious note of the "substantial delay" by the Centre in resolving the crisis arising out of the protest by farmers for more than two months, Punjab's political parties on Tuesday demanded the repeal of the three new central farm laws.
As a result of the "undue delay" by the Centre in resolving the crisis, not only the peaceful agitators and their families are suffering but several farmers and farm workers had lost their lives, causing irreparable damage to them and anguish among the people of the country," a resolution adopted at the meeting said.
The parties urged the Government of India to redress the grievances of farmers who had shown "exemplary resilience" in their continued fight in the most democratic manner.
Condemning the “sponsored violence in Delhi”, the meeting decided that an all-party delegation will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and raise the issue along with other matters of concern on the farmers’ agitation.
The all-party meeting, convened by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to evolve a consensus among state's parties on the issue, demanded an appropriate judicial inquiry into the "laxity and complicity" of those responsible for maintaining peace and order in the unfortunate incidents at the Red Fort on 26 January.
The representatives of all political parties – except the BJP that boycotted the meeting – appreciated the action and position taken by the conglomeration of 40 farmer unions, including 32 from Punjab.
The resolution was passed even as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) representatives walked out over its demand for deployment of Punjab Police to protect farmers protesting on the Delhi borders, which the Chief Minister again rejected as unconstitutional.
"We talk about more federal powers for the states, then how can we do this?" asked Amarinder Singh as AAP leaders brought up the issue towards the end of the meeting.
"What will you do if Himachal Pradesh and Haryana Police come to Punjab?" he quipped.
Terming the agitation so far as "historic and unparalleled" which some miscreants though tried to sabotage through untoward incidents at the Red Fort on the Republic Day, the resolution said that these acts "are truly condemnable and need to be probed thoroughly".
It called upon the Centre "to take steps to ensure that farmers and farm workers participating in the agitation are not victimised in any manner".
The Punjab parties urged the central government "to withdraw all cases registered against farmers, farm workers, and journalists, and other peaceful agitators, and release all those detained by the police or other agencies".
The missing agitators should also be traced and restored to their respective families without any delay, the resolution said.
The Punjab parties also sought immediate resolution of the protest crisis "through dialogue in keeping with the principles of cooperative federalism, respecting the constitutional role of the states and the people as enshrined in the Constitution of India".
They asserted that “we are determined to save and protect the interests of all farmers, farm labourers and the state of Punjab.”
The resolution also called upon the Centre to "make the Minimum Support Price a statutory right of farmers, and continue with the procurement of foodgrains by the Centre through the Food Corporation of India and other agencies, adding that procurement by arhtiyas or commission agents may also be continued.
The meeting also demanded the withdrawal of the new Environment Protection (Amendment) Act, 2020, while urging the Centre to drop the proposed new Electricity (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The resolution lauded Uttar Pradesh farmer leader Rakesh Tikait for his contribution to the farmers' struggle, and also thanked the agriculturists from Haryana for extending support to their Punjab counterparts for the ongoing agitation.
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