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Bhagwant Mann asks Punjab villages to call gram sabhas to negate Centre’s farm laws

Mann said that the anti-farmer laws were passed by the Modi government in collusion with Captain and Badals.

By: Express News Service | Ludhiana | October 28, 2020 8:31:57 pm
punjab farm laws, farm laws india, india punjab farm laws, farm laws punjab AAP, AAP farm laws punjabAAP leader Bhagwant Mann. (File)

AAP MP and party’s Punjab unit president Bhagwant Mann Wednesday reached Ransih Kalan village of Nihal Singh Wala in Moga to push the party’s ‘Gram Sabha Bulao’ campaign and said that the gram sabhas are mini-Parliaments of the country’s democratic system which could prove to be an effective weapon against the contentious agriculture laws being implemented by the Central government. He said that all the village panchayats in Punjab should call gram sabhas and pass resolutions to negate the Centre’s three farm laws.

Addressing the gram sabha at Ransih Kalan village, Mann said that the beauty of the gram sabha proceedings is that every voter of the respective village, above the age of 18 years, is deemed to be its member and can participate in the proceedings. He added after voting on a contentious issue was completed, the entire proceedings are entered in the official record of the respective panchayat, which could be used as a legal document in any court, including the apex court.

However, at Ransih Kalan where he addressed the villagers on the farm laws, Mann also had to face some sharp questions from the youths of the village.

Mann said that if a village panchayat passes a resolution which the majority of the villagers feel was not in their interest, the villagers could convene a gram sabha to discuss and debate the resolution, and if a large number of villagers go against the decision of the panchayat, the gram sabha has the veto power to withdraw the same. He appealed that all village panchayats should convene gram sabhas to adopt resolutions to negate the black farm laws.

Mann said that the anti-farmer laws were passed by the Modi government in collusion with Captain and Badals. Mann said that the draconian laws would hit not only the farmers but also transporters, small shopkeepers, businessmen and other sections who would be rendered jobless. He appealed to the farmers to handle the stir without resorting to violence.

‘Captain should talk to Modi, Punjab should have own law for MSP on all crops’

Later, while addressing a press conference at Moga, Mann said that if the Union Government backs out from ensuring minimum support price (MSP) for the farmers, the Punjab government should enact its own laws to guarantee procurement at the MSP for all crops.

He also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of imposing sanctions on Punjab out of sheer frustration due to the farmers’ struggle against the Centre’s farm laws.

“Blocking of freight trains by the Centre, withholding Rural Development Fund (RDF) and GST issue were revengeful acts on the part of the government at the Centre against Punjab, which has always contributed to the country’s freedom struggle and food security,” Mann said.

Mann said that if the contentious farm laws were being opposed across the country, the Modi government should hold talks with them to allay their apprehensions.

“Chief Minister Amarinder Singh should not waste time by making appeals to the farmers with an ulterior motive of derailing their struggle at the behest of Modi but should rather talk to the Prime Minister and have their issues and concerns resolved,” Mann said.

Mann appealed to all party workers, volunteers, leaders and people from all walks of life to extend their whole-hearted support to the nationwide ‘Chakka Jaam’ call given by the farmers for November 5.

Mann said that his party has directed its leaders, cadres and volunteers not to use the party’s flag or raise any slogan on the occasion since it was the peasants’ struggle.

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