Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann termed Monday the introduction of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022, in Parliament by the Centre an “attack on the constitutional rights of the states”.
Stating that the Centre had not even consulted the states, Mann said: “Through such nefarious designs, the Union government is weakening the foundations of the federal structure”
The chief minister said that this was another attempt by the Centre to undermine the authority of the states. He added that the Centre should not consider the states as puppets and they would not sit silently against this attempt to dilute the federal spirit of India’s democracy.
The chief minister said that the states would fight from the road to the parliament to protect their rights. He said the Centre should have consulted the states before introducing any bill related to the power sector. However, Mann said instead of consulting, this bill is being imposed on the states, which is a direct attack on the federal structure.
Mann asked when the states provide electricity to their residents on their own, why their feedback was not sought while introducing a new bill. He said the Punjab government gives free electricity to farmers for agriculture. The free power supply is provided to domestic consumers as well and if the Centre amends the bill as per its own conditions, farmers and other sections of the society would suffer, he said. States like Punjab will not be able to continue such pro-people initiatives, he added.
Warning the Centre to desist from “playing with fire”, Mann urged it to not repeat the previous mistake of introducing the three farm laws, which were revoked later.
Mann said the Centre should take feedback from the states before enacting any law in the power sector, which will directly affect every citizen in the country.