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Friday,27-November-2020

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Punjab CM Amarinder Singh moves draft resolution to reject Centre’s farm laws

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Amarinder-Singh

In a move to protect the state’s farmers and agriculture, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday presented in the Vidhan Sabha a draft resolution rejecting outright the Centre’s “anti-farmer” laws and the proposed electricity amendment Bill, with an appeal to all parties to rise above political interests in the spirit of saving the agrarian state.

The draft resolution seeks annulment of the farm laws and the proposed Electricity Bill, as well as promulgation of “a fresh ordinance making the procurement of food grains on the minimum support price (MSP) a statutory right of the farmers and continue with procurement by the Government of India through the FCI and other such agencies”.

Regretting that several legislators indulged in frivolous activities on Monday to gain political mileage, with some coming in tractors and some spending the night in the Assembly precincts in protest against non-receipt of his government’s Bills, the Chief Minister said he had signed the same at 9.30 p.m., after extensive discussions and consultations with various experts.

Such delays in sharing copies of Bills happen in emergent session, he said, pointing to something similar happening when his government had brought in the Punjab Termination of Water Agreements Act during his last tenure in 2004.

Amarinder Singh said the Bills being presented on Tuesday, the second day of the special assembly session, would form the basis of the state’s legal battle ahead and, hence, needed to be thoroughly vetted before presentation.

The draft resolution expresses the deep regret of the state legislative assembly over the “callous and inconsiderate attitude of the Government of India in attending to the concerns of the farming community on recent allegedly farm legislation enacted by them”.

It reads that the assembly is constrained to unanimously reject the three (farm) legislations and the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Referring to The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, the draft resolution notes that the Union Government had converted the relevant farm ordinances into Acts and notified the same on September 24 and 26 even though the concerns and sentiments of the House were conveyed to the Prime Minister through letter of September 14 by the Chief Minister.

“These three legislations along with the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are clearly against the interests of farmers and landless workers, and time-tested agriculture marketing system established not only in Punjab but also in original green revolution areas of Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh,” it said, adding the Government of India had clearly enacted trade legislations and not farm legislations.

Further, said the draft resolution, these laws are also against the Constitution of India (Entry 14 List-II), which comprises agriculture as a subject of the state.

These legislations are a direct attack, and use of subterfuge to encroach upon the functions and the powers of the states, as enshrined in the country’s Constitution, said the draft resolution, read out by the Speaker.

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New ordinance has been praised by every section of society: UP Law Minister

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Brajesh-Pathak

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken strict measures to curb the incidents of ‘love jihad’ and ‘religious conversion for marriage’ in the state.

As promise of a crackdown on forcible conversions, the UP cabinet has recently passed the UP Unlawful Religious Conversion Prohibition Ordinance, 2020. In this regard, UP Law Minister Brajesh Pathak has said that the new ordinance has been brought in to honour the sisters and daughters in the state.

Speaking to IANS about the ordinance, the Law Minister said that although there is no mention of ‘love jihad’ in this ordinance, it will take strict action against those who ruin the lives of sisters and mothers forcing them to convert in the garb of marriage. The new law has been welcomed by religious leaders too.

Pathak said that in recent years, the state has witnessed scores of incidents of forcible conversion and exploitation. In many instances, the woman has been made to change her name after marriage and then they were deserted. With the enactment of the new law there will no such situation.

He said that this is is a praiseworthy law. Barring exceptions, every section of society has praised it.

“It is the habit of some to oppose every matter. In recent years, this has emerged as a major social issue. Some people use deceitful means or sometimes they hide their religion and marry the girl from another religion. As a result, the girl and her family’s reputation are tarnished.”

Sometimes, such incidents bring social disharmony. The new law will put a brake on such acts. If people of two different religions want to get married through mutual consent, then the District Magistrate has to be informed two months prior to the wedlock.

In case of fraudulent or forcible conversion, the convict will face a sentence of between one and 10 years. This legislation is necessary to keep the law and order situation normal in UP and to ensure justice for women. In this way, everyone’s sisters and daughters will get a chance to lead a life of dignity.

On the question of the Brahmin society being upset with the government, the Law Minister said, the allegations made against the government related to caste are baseless. The results of the recently held Assembly by-elections has exposed the opposition’s allegations.

“Sabka Saath is not only a slogan to us but also a guiding mantra. The government is working accordingly. We consider the entire state as a family.”

On the workers’ displeasure, Pathak said, “Our party believes in taking everyone along. We are with the workers in every happiness and sorrow. No one is angry, everyone is happy.”

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Forgery case: Allahabad High Court rejects bail pleas of Azam Khan, son

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Abdullah-Azam-Khan

The Allahabad High Court has denied bail to senior Samajwadi Party leader and MP Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam Khan in two cases relating to alleged cheating and forgery.

The allegations against the applicants were that they had forged PAN to show the wrong date of birth of Abdullah to enable him to contest the UP Assembly elections from the Suar constituency in Rampur in 2017.

Justice Suneet Kumar, who rejected the bail plea on Thursday, asked the trial court to expedite the trial.

He said that the applicants are at a liberty to approach the high court again for bail after the witnesses are examined in the trial.

The court observed, “Having regard to the allegations that the applicants did not cooperate with the investigation and court proceedings, consequently, coercive measures had to be adopted against them.”

“Further, having regard to the position and status of the accused persons, the repetition of the offences, and the deep-rooted and pervasive influence, applicants exercise in the various departments of the state, there is reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with, and danger to the course of justice being thwarted. In the circumstances, grant of bail at this stage would not be in public interest,” the court added.

It may be recalled that FIRs were lodged against the Azam Khan and Abdullah Azam in 2019 alleging that on January 24, 2017, Abdullah had filed nomination papers for contesting from Suar Assembly constituency.

In the nomination papers, Abdullah Azam’s date of birth was wrongly mentioned as September 30, 1990, to make him eligible for contesting elections, and in support of it, a forged PAN card was also obtained with the help of Azam Khan.

Azam Khan, his son Abdullah Azam and wife Tanzeen Fatima are lodged in Sitapur jail since February this year.

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Voice of dissent can’t be muzzled indefinitely, says Punjab CM

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Amarinder-Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday once again reiterated that voices of the protesting farmers “cannot be muzzled indefinitely” and the “Centre should initiate talks”.

“The voice of farmers cannot be muzzled indefinitely. Centre should immediately initiate talks with Kisan Union leaders to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders.

“Why wait till December 3 when the situation is getting out of hand now?” a tweet by Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral quoting Amarinder Singh said.

In a series of tweets, the Chief Minister said the central government “needs to show statesmanship and accept the farmers’ demand for assured MSP (minimum support price), which is the basic right of every farmer”.

“If they can give verbal assurance I fail to understand why they can’t make it a legal obligation of the Government of India.”

“Those claiming it’s the Congress that’s instigating the farmers are blind not to see the lakhs of farmers trying to enter Delhi from across the country. It’s a fight for their lives and livelihoods and they don’t need any backing or provocation,” the Chief Minister added.

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