Amendment Bills to counter the Centre’s farm laws held up in Raj Bhavan
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday said the Amendment Bills passed in the State Assembly last month to counter the Centre’s farm laws were held up in Raj Bhavan, as the Governor was not sending them for Presidential assent. The Union government was not willing to accept that the Bills were in “public interest”, he said.
Addressing a press conference here to mark the completion of two years of the Congress government, Mr. Gehlot said the Bills on honour killings and mob lynching, passed earlier this year, were also not getting the President’s approval. “The democracy is being challenged and the States are being denied their rights. Rahul Gandhi has correctly said that we now have an imaginary democracy.”
Mr. Gehlot said the Chief Ministers of four Congress-ruled States had sought an appointment with President Ram Nath Kovind to raise the issue of farmers’ agitation, but he did not entertain the request for meeting. “The President is under so much pressure that he was not even willing to meet us. I have seen this for the first time,” he remarked.
While accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders of conspiring to topple the State government, Mr. Gehlot said the people would give a “befitting reply” to them in the next elections. Asked about the role of Congress leader Sachin Pilot in the recent political crisis, Mr. Gehlot said his earlier statement that he was ready to “forget and forgive” had sent across a strong message.
The Chief Minister said the NDA government at the Centre was showing its insensitivity to the issues raised by farmers in their agitation, which would soon complete a month, and was trying to create confusion by inviting them for talks and making baseless allegations against the Opposition parties.
Mr. Gehlot said 50% of the promises made in the Congress manifesto for the 2018 Assembly election had been fulfilled in the first two years of his government. The challenge posed by COVID-19 epidemic was also successfully met and the State government had made all efforts to save lives and livelihoods of people, he added.
Mr. Gehlot said the political appointments in the State were getting delayed because of the model code of conduct enforced for panchayat and local boy elections. Referring to the issue of loan waiver for farmers, he said the State government had already taken action for the loans disbursed by cooperative banks, but the Centre was not helping in respect of the public sector banks.
All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken, who arrived here on Friday on a three-day visit, also addressed the press conference.
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