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President Kovind gives assent to farm bills amid protests; Maharashtra says no to implementation

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New Delhi, Sep 27: President Ram Nath Kovind has signed the contentious farm bills passed by the Parliament, amid widespread protest.

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According to a gazette notification, the President gave assent to three bills: The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 aims to permit the sale of agricultural produce outside the mandis regulated by the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) constituted by different state legislations.

SAD quits NDA: How farm bills ended friendship between oldest allies

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, provides for contract farming. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 deregulates the production, supply, distribution of food items like cereals, pulses, potatoes, onion and edible oilseeds.

The President's assent to these bills comes amid the Opposition criticising the manner in which they were passed in Parliament.

Soon after the president's assent to the bills, the Maharashtra government announced that it won't implement the "anti-farmers" law in the state.

"The Bills passed by Parliament are anti-farmers. So we're opposing it. Maha Vikas Aghadi will also oppose it and not implement it in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena is also with us. We'll sit together and form a strategy," Mahrashtra revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said.

Even NDA's oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has parted ways on the issue of these farm bills as farmers in Punjab and Haryana intensify protest.

There was a ruckus during the passage of two of the three farm bills in Rajya Sabha on Sunday following which eight Opposition MPs were suspended.

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