Amendments to Farm Laws Proposed in Maha Assembly, BJP MLAs Walk Out

The amendments proposed have provisions like assurance of MSPs and jail time for harassment of farmers.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray</p></div>

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday, 6 July, introduced three Bills to amend the Centre's three farm laws in the ongoing Assembly session. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs boycotted the session after 12 MLAs were suspended, after a ruckus ensued in the House on Monday, 5 July.

The amendments, which the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government plans to discuss with farm unions and other stakeholders for the next two months, proposes provisions like assurance of MSPs, legal action, and jail time for harassment of farmers.

How Are the Amendments Different From Centre's Laws?

The Centre's laws do not mandate an agreement over MSPs. The amendments proposed by the Maharashtra government have provisions for practices like unfair prices below MSPs and late payments of farmers' dues as punishable offences.

  • The agreement with the farmers will be deemed invalid if the pay for the produce is below the MSP

  • In case the price is decided below the MSP, it will need to have the consent of both the farmer and the buyer

  • Harassment of farmers over prices will be a punishable offense of up to three years in prison

  • If the farmers are dissatisfied by the redressal of grievances by the appointed officers, they will have the provision to appeal to the Jiladhikaris

  • The Centre's farm laws do not authorise the states to regulate the produce, supply, delivery, and stock limits in times of drought, natural calamities or rising prices. However, the proposed amendments will give powers to the state government to do so

  • The traders will be mandated to possess a permenant account number for their trades and will not be able to deal without a license


Politicking Over Amendments

While the MVA government hailed the proposed amendments, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said that the government has no choice but to implement the laws.

"The Centre's farm laws have only added to the farmers' woes. Never has there been such a prolonged protest held by farmers before. It is essential to listen to the suggestions of the farmers. Hence, we have proposed amendments that will be discussed with stakeholders for the next two months," Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat said.


BJP Boycotts Session to Hold 'Parallel Assembly'

The BJP on Tuesday boycotted the proceedings and conducted a 'parallel session' outside the Mantralaya to protest against the suspension of 12 of its MLAs by the Speaker following a ruckus in the House on Monday.

While Fadnavis attacked the MVA's alleged attempt to "silence" the Opposition in the state, several leaders of the ruling alliance called the holding of a parallel session an "insult" to the House.

In the parallel session, the BJP legislators 'elected' their senior colleague Kalidas Kolamkar to chair the proceedings and raised slogans condemning the MVA government, IANS reported.

Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik and Presiding Officer Bhaskar Jadhav, who had suspended the MLAs on Monday, sought to know whether the BJP legislators had been given permission to use microphones for their 'parallel session'.

They were told by Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal that no such permission was given, following which Jadhav directed that the mikes be disconnected, IANS reported.

Jadhav also demanded action against those who had organised the 'parallel' session.

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