CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Cabinet on Monday passed a resolution expressing solidarity with the farmers, who are protesting against the central farm laws, and their demands.

Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had convened an emergency meeting of newly reconstituted Council of Ministers in view of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) to protest against the three agri laws, an official statement said after the cabinet meeting.

“The Council of Ministers passed a resolution expressing solidarity with the farmers and their demands,” the statement said.

Terming these laws as anti-farmers and anti-food security, Channi said these laws are a potent threat to the livelihood of farmers and their future generations.

“#I Stand With Farmers & appeal the Union Govt. to repeal the three anti-farmer laws. Our farmers have been struggling for their rights since more than a year & it is high time that their voice is heard,” Channi had said earlier in the day in a tweet.

Making a firm resolve, the chief minister said that the earlier resolutions passed by the state assembly in support of the state farmers’ demand to repeal these “black laws” should be conceded by the government of India forthwith without any further delay.

While Channi, along with two deputy chief ministers, took oath a week ago, the 15 other members of his Council of Ministers took oath on Sunday, and this was the first meeting of the full-fledged cabinet.

The Congress had recently picked Channi as the leader of the state’s Congress Legislative Party.

He was sworn in as the chief minister on Monday last.

Amarinder Singh had resigned as chief minister on Saturday after being locked in a bitter power tussle with Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

The state government, led by Channi, had a few days ago also categorically reiterated its commitment to the resolutions passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on August 28, 2020 and October 20, 2020, emphasising that all the genuine demands of the farmers must be accepted and urging the Centre to “repeal the farm laws as agriculture is a State Subject under the Constitution of India, and to make MSP a statutory right”.

“There is a need for broad-based dialogue and proper consultation with all stakeholders as these legislations impact the future of millions of farmers across the country, and all genuine demands of the farmers must be accepted,” Channi said.

Expressing solidarity with the families of the farmers who have lost their lives during the ongoing agitation against the farm laws, the chief minister stressed on the need to win over their confidence as the Congress government has always stood firmly in support of their demands from day one.

He asked all the ministers to personally visit the houses of the deceased farmers to deliver the appointment letters for government jobs to their family members.

He said nearly 155 such appointment letters are ready and the same should be delivered to them within a week.

Channi also asked the chief secretary to ensure verification of other remaining such cases expeditiously so as to complete the process of giving government jobs to the eligible next of kin.

Taking cognisance of the widespread resentment amongst the farmers for getting inadequate compensation in view of their land acquired by the various government agencies, Channi directed the chief secretary to explore ways and means to rationalise the quantum of compensation to be awarded to the farmers to their satisfaction.