New Delhi, September 28
A day after President Ram Nath Kovind granted his assent to the controversial farm Bills, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday asked states ruled by her party to negate the agriculture-related Central laws by passing their own legislations.
“Congress president has advised the Congress-ruled states to explore the possibilities to pass laws in their respective states under Article 254(2) of the constitution which allows the state legislatures to pass a law to negate the Anti-Agriculture Central laws encroaching upon State’s jurisdiction under the Constitution,” AICC general secretary organisation KC Venugopal said.
Sonia Gandhi has told the states ruled by Congress that enacting their own legislations would enable bypassing the unacceptable anti-farmers’ provisions in the three “draconian agricultural laws”, including the abolition of MSP and disruption of APMCs in Congress-ruled states.
She said this would also alleviate the farmers from the grave injustice done by the NDA government and the BJP.
Describing the logic behind the move Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley got states to resort to Article 254(2) of the Constitution to override the provisions of the 2013 Land Acquisition law, a law he had fully supported as Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha. So States should now follow the same advice to undo the damage caused by the farm bills that have become Acts.”
Ramesh quoted the relevant provision of the Constitution under which the late FM asked states to override the provisions of the 2013 land acquisition bill.
“Where a law made by the legislature of a state with respect to one of the matters enumerated it in the concurrent list contains any provisions repugnant to the provisions of an earlier law made by Parliament or an existing law with respect to that matter, then, the law so made by the legislature of such state shall, if it has been reserved for the consideration of the President and has received his assent, prevail in that state. Provided that nothing in this clause shall prevent Parliament from enacting at any time any law with respect to the same matter, including a law adding two, amending, wearing or repealing the law show made by the state legislature,” Ramesh said quoting the Constitution.
The Congress feels it has solid legal ground to go against farm bills as agriculture, marketing and pricing are listed as state subjects in the seventh schedule of the Constitution which deals exclusively with state rights.