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Kejriwal calls Punjab farm Bills drama, Capt Amarinder Singh asks him if he is with farmers

Amarinder egged on Kejriwal to bring Bills similar to those of Punjab in Delhi Legislative Assembly. Kejriwal tweeted in reply calling the Bills “drama” and asked Amarinder if state’s Bills could supersede Centre’s legislation.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: October 21, 2020 9:58:49 pm
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

A day after Punjab Vidhan Sabha passed amendment Bills negating the Centre’s farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal engaged in a war of words over the Bills.

Amarinder egged on Kejriwal to bring Bills similar to those of Punjab in Delhi Legislative Assembly. Kejriwal tweeted in reply calling the Bills “drama” and asked Amarinder if state’s Bills could supersede Centre’s legislation. “Raja Sahib, you amended the laws of the Centre. Can the state change the laws of the Centre? No. You did a drama. You fooled people. The laws which you passed yesterday by them will the farmers get MSP? No. Farmers want MSP, not your fake and false laws,” Kejriwal tweeted, tagging the post of the Punjab Chief Minister Office.

The CMO Punjab said, “Amazed at double standards of SAD & AAP, says @capt_amarinder Singh on their criticism of state’s bills after backing them in the House. CM asks @ArvindKejriwal to follow Punjab’s examples to bring out similar bills to save farmers.”

Amarinder retorted: “Are you with the farmers or against them?” Amarinder said it smacked of total ignorance on the part of the Delhi Chief Minister. It was a different matter that he could not blame Kejriwal for such ignorance considering that Delhi is not really a state, as a result of which its Chief Minister did not know the legal nitty-gritties of running a state, he quipped, taking a jibe at Kejriwal’s lack of knowledge on matters concerning states.

However, the Punjab Chief Minister said he did expect Kejriwal to do some home-work before rushing to react to his remarks “that were made in interest of farmers, who I thought you might have some concern for”.

The Punjab CM said he thought the AAP leader knew his Constitution, which clearly says that u/Article 254 (II) states can seek amendment to Central laws for local & contextual needs, as has been done in many cases, especially in CPC & CrPC laws. “Maybe you could check it (the Constitutional provision) now!” he told Kejriwal.

Amarinder said instead of questioning his government’s Bills, it would be better for Kejriwal to “get out of your IT mindset” and ask AAP’s Punjab unit to back the state government in its fight for the rights of the farmers, unless their support to our Bills was just a façade. “The ball is in your court — are you with farmers or against them?” he asked Kejriwal, challenging him to come out with a categorical stand on the issue of Punjab amendment Bills, which AAP MLAs in the state had backed in the Assembly but had criticised outside the House to expose their double standards.

On Tuesday, the Punjab Assembly had adopted a resolution rejecting the Centre’s new farm laws and passed four Bills it said will counter the contentious legislation enacted by Parliament.

The Bills were passed and the resolution adopted unanimously after over five hours of discussion on the second day of a special Assembly session called by the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government.

The state Bills provide for imprisonment of not less than three years for the sale or purchase of wheat or paddy below the minimum support price (MSP), exemption of farmers from attachment of land up to 2.5 acres and prevention of hoarding and black-marketing of agricultural produce.

The state Bills, however, need the assent of the Governor before they become laws. The governor could withhold assent and refer them to the President.

(with PTI inputs)

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