Chhattisgarh moves to negate Centre's farm reforms

Chhattisgarh moves to negate Centre's farm reforms

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel hit out at the central laws contending that they encouraged hoarding of agricultural commodities

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

After Punjab, Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh on Tuesday set in motion the process to negate the Modi government's farm sector reforms, terming them as anti-farmer.

At a special two-day session of the state assembly, Chhattisgarh Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey introduced the Chhattisgarh Agriculture Produce Market (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that grants the state government the powers to declare private mandis as “deemed markets”, thus effectively bringing them under the state government control.

Opposition BJP raised objections that the government had not circulated the copies of the bill in advance, but the same was rejected by Speaker Charan Das Mahant, who allowed the introduction of the legislation.

After the centre ushered in farm sector reforms through three legislations – the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and Essential Commodities Act 2020, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had asked chief ministers of party-ruled states to explore legal options to negate the impact of the central laws.

“As advised by Congress President, Chhattisgarh Government will amend State law to counter the draconian anti-farmer legislations of the Modi government in the assembly starting today (Tuesday). These historic legislations in Punjab, Chhattisgarh & Rajasthan will uphold our farmers' rights,” AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal said here.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel hit out at the central laws contending that they encouraged hoarding of agricultural commodities.

The state government is expected to get the bill approved by the assembly on Wednesday.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has also declared that the state government would also take the legislative route to negate the central laws.

Punjab Assembly had passed bills to counter the farm reforms unveiled by the Modi government last week.

The bills will have to be approved by the Governors of the respective states and President Ram Nath Kovind before they become the law of the land.