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Not afraid of resigning, says Amarinder on farm laws issue

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Chandigarh, Oct 20: Asserting that he was prepared to resign rather than bow to "injustice" meted out to Punjab farmers, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday warned of possible disruption of the state's peace and threat to national security due to the new farm laws enacted by the Centre.

Punjab CM

The chief minister said he was uneasy and upset over the situation and wanted to understand the Centre's decision to cause such "suffering" to farmers amid the COVID-19 crisis.

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"I am not afraid of resigning. I am not afraid of my government being dismissed. But I will not let farmers suffer or be ruined," he said, while pointing out that he had chosen to quit at the time of Operation Blue Star instead of accepting or endorsing the assault on Sikh ethos.

The chief minister was speaking in the Vidhan Sabha while presenting his government's four bills to negate the Union Government's farm laws, on the second day of the special session of the House.

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Cautioning the Centre against allowing the situation to get out of hand, he said if farm laws are not revoked, angry youth can come out on the streets to join the farmers, leading to chaos.

The way things are going on at present, the situation has the potential to disturb the peaceful atmosphere, he warned, observing this is what had happened in the 80s and 90s.

Both China and Pakistan will collude and try to take advantage of any disruption of the state's peace, which would pose a serious threat to national security, he added.

Reiterating his full support to the agitating farmers, who, he said, were left with no option but to fight to save themselves and their families, Singh appealed to them to help out the state government by ending the Rail Roko and blockades and allow movement of essential commodities.

"We have stood with you, now it is your turn to stand with us," he appealed to the farmers, adding that the entire House was with them but the state was going through tough times, with power generation at a precarious low, no urea for fertilisers and no space in godown for fresh paddy arrivals.

The three bills introduced by Singh to counter the Centre's laws are -- the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment Bill 2020, the Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill 2020.

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    "In the name of farming laws, we have actually enacted trade laws. It is not farmers who will have access to a national market, but traders. Hence, the use of the term 'trade area' in the so-called farmers legislations is also very telling," said Singh presenting his government's four Bills for consideration of the House.

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