Hours after the Lok Sabha Thursday two key bills pertaining to farm sector, Congress MLA from Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab, Kuljit Singh Nagra resigned from the Vidhan Sabha in protest.
Lok Sabha Thursday passed the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill. It has already passed Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.
“I do not want to continue to be in Vidhan Sabha as an elected representative on a day when Lok Sabha passes Bills that would ruin the farmers,” Nagra told The Indian Express.
The MLA, who is also AICC general secretary, tweeted: “Deeply saddened by the passing of farmer Bill by the BJP-Akali Govt. I hereby tender my resignation as MLA Fatehgarh Sahib in support of farmer’s cause”.
He said that he has mailed his resignation to the Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana Kanwarpal Singh. “I do not want to continue in a legislative body where country’s Parliament was not able to protect the rights of farmers. It is a black day in the history of Punjab and the whole country. We could not stop the Bills from passing. Where will the farmers go? They have given their everything to fill the granaries of the country,” he said.
He added that his resignation was a way to extend his solidarity with the farmers. “I want to tell them that I am no more a legislator, but a farmer like them now. “
Congress has 80 MLAs in a 117-member Vidhan Sabha. Nagra’s resignation came a few hours after SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Union Cabinet.
Nagra has risen from students politics in the state. He is considered close to former AICC chief Rahul Gandhi. He hit headlines recently when he became the only MLA from the state to volunteer and pay his own income tax. The burden of MLAs income tax is on the state exchequer in Punjab.
A Congress leader said Nagra’s resignation was intended to take the fizz out of Harsimrat’s resignation who was being projected as a “martyr”. Akalis had remained defensive on the issue of the three farm sector Bills and Harsimrat’s resignation is expected to give a boost to the Akali cadres. “With Nagra resigning, the focus will now be on two leaders and not just one,” the Congress leader said.
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