Home > News > Centre has encroached upon states’ rights by passing farm laws: P Chidambaram | India News

Centre has encroached upon states’ rights by passing farm laws: P Chidambaram | India News

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GUWAHATI: Slamming the BJP-led central government over the new farm laws, former Union home minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday said the Centre has encroached upon the rights of a state by passing laws on a subject (agriculture) that are notified under the state list.
Addressing a convention of the legal cell of Assam Congress in Guwahati via video conferencing, Chidambaram said the Centre has encroached upon state’s policy and amended the Constitution to take away a state’s powers.
Delivering the inaugural speech on “Challenges and threats to democracy and the Constitution of India”, the former union minister added, “The most recent and vicious encroachment of state’s subjects is the farm laws against which thousands farmers are protesting at the borders of New Delhi in this bitter cold. Agriculture, agricultural markets and fares are issues notified under the state list. Yet, without blinking an eye, the Centre passed the farm laws — first as ordinance and then via the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, ignoring all opposition. The government’s move has hurt the fundamental principle of federalism.”
Chidambaram alleged that the Parliament no longer allows multiple opinions to be voiced on a given subject. “The right to speak is in jeopardy in the Parliament and the power to mute the mike of the MP has been introduced. Very few bills are being debated, voted and even fewer are being referred to select committees,” he added
Speaking on the rights of minorities, dalits, and scheduled tribes, he said despite constituting around 30-35% of the total population, the present government is trying to curtail their freedom. “Today, can we sincerely say that minorities and dalits enjoy equal rights and opportunities?” he asked.
Elaborating on the current economic status of the country, Chidambaram said in liberal democracies, there is no place for monopolies as everyone has the right to become rich. Quoting former Chinese president Deng Xiaoping, he said it’s glorious to be rich, there is a place for everyone to become richer and wealthy.
Pointing at particular groups that are being encouraged to establish monopolies, he said, “In India today, we can cite numerous examples where the government and state are actively encouraging monopolies. If we do not stop this, we will be standing where a hundred years ago, the US was.”
Regarding the judiciary, he said hundreds and thousands of bail pleas that are pending in the courts are a deprivation of people’s personal liberties. “Who will compensate them for the days his or her liberty was denied? How can we say everyone has equal access to liberty?” he asked.
Saying that the words “liberal” and “democracy” are inseparable, Chidambaram said equality, equal opportunities, secularism and tolerance must be upheld at all costs. “We cannot allow India to become an authoritarian, intolerant and a country where everyone cannot proudly claim that he or she enjoys justice, equality, liberty and fraternity,” Chidambaram said.

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