If the NDA gets success in Bihar polls, the Congress campaign will be weakened.


New Delhi: The Congress is sparing no effort to make the Central government’s farm laws a big national issue. However, this issue will face its first electoral test in Bihar.

The Congress-ruled states have started passing their own bills, countering the Centre’s farm laws. However, it depends on the Centre whether these legislations are converted into laws or not. These bills need assent from the Governors of the states concerned. And it is possible only if state legislations do not contradict the Central government’s law. Though states are free to make their own laws, they are not supposed to go against the Centre.

But the Congress is adamant on going ahead with legislations countering Central farm laws in states under its rule. This may result in confrontation between the Central government and the Congress. The Congress high command has asked the party leaders to come up with resolutions against the farm laws in the state where the party is in Opposition.

The Congress was successful in creating an atmosphere against the land acquisition bill in 2014 but it could not derive any electoral benefit from the same. Congress will repeat the same experiment by hitting streets against farm laws. Congress’ strategy is to galvanise support in states where agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. There is a simmering discontent against these laws in states such as Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.

The Congress government in Punjab has sent its own bills to the Governor for his assent, but the Opposition has come out against it, spelling trouble for it. SAD, which exited the NDA on farm laws, has rejected the Punjab farm bills as well.

Another political outfit in Punjab, AAP’s convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has made a statement suggesting that the state cannot change the Centre’s laws. So, the Congress’ politics of farm laws in Punjab may turn out to be counterproductive as well.

At the same time, Rajasthan has also announced to follow Punjab. The Rajasthan government will pass its own farm bill in the Assembly in November. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has termed the Central farm laws as anti-farmer. However, the main Opposition BJP is opposing the Rajasthan government’s move.

Former secretary general of Lok Sabha P.D.T. Achary believes that it is not easy for the state laws to get assent from either the Governor or the President. As per the Constitution, the Centre and states can make their own laws, but they should not contradict each other. If any state goes against the Centre, then the Presidential assent will not be given to its bills and this will lead to a confrontation between the state and Centre.

Meanwhile, several states such as Haryana, where Congress is in Opposition, are ready to bring resolution against the Central farm laws. Congress has also planned several agitational activities nationwide against the farm laws. Prime Minister Modi has said in Bihar that the Opposition does not want farmers to grow and that is why they are opposing farm laws. It is clear that the farm laws have become a big issue in Bihar elections. And if the NDA gets success in Bihar polls, Congress’ campaign against farm laws will be weakened.