Governor questions Bhupesh Baghel Govt’s special session move

NEW DELHI: Chhattisgarh governor Anusuiya Uikey has asked the state government to specify why it wanted a special assembly session, in an indication of a faceoff between the two. The Bhupesh Baghel government returned the file immediately on Tuesday specifying that it wanted to introduce amendments in current laws to help farmers and agricultural labourers.

The Baghel government had requested the governor to convene an assembly session for October 27 and 28 to introduce amendments to mandi laws and override the impact of central farm legislations notified. Uikey returned the file on Tuesday, questioning the need for a special session, pointing out that the monsoon session was held less than two months ago. She asked the government for information on the laws planned for the session. Wiser by the Gehlot government’s standoff with Rajasthan governor Kalraj Mishra, the Baghel government returned the file saying that the state wanted to protect the interests of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers and had to urgently change existing laws.

“The governor does not have the right to raise the issue. We pass 20-30 legislations in the budget session and no question is raised. Now we have sent the file back to Raj Bhavan stating that the government is committed to protecting interests of Chhattisgarh’s farmers and agricultural labourers and that is why the urgency,” Chhattisgarh agriculture minister Ravindra Choubey told ET.

The state government is studying various Supreme Court and high court judgments where the government sought judicial intervention to convene a special assembly session.

“We have many options. But right now, we hope that the governor would allow us to convene a session. There have been several Supreme Court judgments which have clearly shown that the governor cannot deny the right of any elected government to call a special session. When Maharashtra governor refused to convene a session, it was convened after Supreme Court’s intervention,” he said The Chhattisgarh government has also sent amendments being proposed for Uikey’s perusal. The government would bring amendments in Chhattisgarh Krishi Upaj Mandi Adhiniyam and Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code.

They would ensure that the state government had control over private mandis which corporates could open. “We will introduce stock limits, ensure they submit their electronic systems to state scrutiny, ensure labour laws are applicable through these amendments,” Choubey said. Chhattisgarh is a tribal-dominated Schedule V area state and corporates would not be able to acquire land without submitting to state scrutiny, he said.

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