Opposing the Centre's introduction of the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2022 in the Lok Sabha without even consulting states, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday termed the move as an attack on the constitutional rights of the states.
"Through such nefarious designs, the Union government is weakening the foundations of the federal structure," he said.Mann said this is another attempt made by the Centre to undermine the authority of the states, and categorically said the Union government should not consider the states as puppets.
States will not sit silently against this attempt of the Centre to dilute the federal spirit of democracy, he added.The Chief Minister said the states will fight from the road to Parliament to protect their rights. He said the Union government should have consulted the states before introducing any Bill related to the power sector.
However, instead of consulting, this Bill is being imposed on the states, which is a direct attack on the federal structure, he said.Questioning the Centre's intentions, the Chief Minister said when the states provide electricity to their residents on their own, then why has their feedback not been sought while introducing a new Bill.
Citing the example of Punjab, he said farmers in the state are being given free electricity for agriculture. Likewise, Mann said free power supply is also provided to domestic consumers and if the Centre is amending the Bills as per their own conditions, the farmers and other sections will get a big blow as states like Punjab will not be able to continue such pro-people initiatives.
Warning the Centre to desist from playing with fire, the Chief Minister urged it to not repeat the previous mistake of implementing draconian three agricultural laws.He asked the government to reconsider its decision of introducing the Electricity Amendment Bill as the people of the country will never tolerate such unilateral decisions.
Mann demanded that the Central government should take feedback of the states before enacting any law in the power sector, which will directly affect every citizen of the country.