Chandigarh, October 18: Amid total consensus among Punjab Congress MLAs on the need to reject the Farm Laws outright and not implement them in the state, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday called for a frontal attack against the legislations, even as he was authorized by his council of ministers to take any legislative/legal decision he may deem fit to protect the interests of the farmers.

The Cabinet decided that a strategy to counter the black Farm Laws will be finalized ahead of the 2-day special session of the Vidhan Sabha, beginning on Monday.

“This fight will go on, we will fight this till the Supreme Court,” the Chief Minister earlier said at a meeting of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP). Referring to the demand raised by many Kisan Unions some days back for an immediate session of the Assembly, the Chief Minister said this could not be done earlier as all legal implications had to be examined thoroughly before taking any step.

The Chief Minister said the views of the MLAs would be taken into account while finalising the strategy to battle the Farm Laws, in consultation with legal and independent experts, including senior lawyers and AICC leader P Chidambaram. He said the whole world was watching Punjab with a lot of expectation and the views of the MLAs were extremely important for drafting a comprehensive strategy to protect the state’s farmers and agriculture. The fight will continue till the Supreme Court, he said.

Making it clear that the fight, for the Congress, was not about politics but to save Punjab’s agriculture and its farmers, Captain Amarinder said any decision will be taken in the interest of the farming community. Taking a dig at the Akalis, the Chief Minister said the Congress was not double faced and had a clear stand on the issue of the Farm Laws.

His own stand was also clear, he said, adding that contrary to what the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leaders had been claiming, Punjab was not consulted at any point on the new legislations. Recalling that it was only after he wrote to the Prime Minister that Punjab was included in the Committee formed by the Union Government to discuss agricultural reforms, the Chief Minister said the first meeting of the panel had already been held by that time. The issue was not discussed at the second meeting of the Committee, attended by Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, while at the third meeting, attended by officials, a one-line diktat was issued, with no mention anywhere of the Ordinances, he added.

Earlier, the Punjab Congress MLAs were unanimous in their opinion that the Centre’s anti-farmer legislations should be totally rejected and the state should make suitable amendments to provide for strict action, including imprisonment, for those who purchase wheat or paddy at less than the MSP.

Several legislators stressed the need for aggressively countering the false propaganda being spread by opposition parties against the state government and the party on the issue of the Farm Laws. MSP and Mandi system had to be protected at all costs, and the unconstitutional laws, which were against federalism, had to be countered effectively, they said. The message needs to go out clearly and unequivocally, that the Farm Laws are not acceptable to Punjab, they said.


Health Department director Dr Manjit Singh conducts surprise checking at government hospitals in four districts

Inspects Emergency health care services, gives necessary instructions for further improvement

Our goal is to provide best Emergency services to the people: Dr Manjit Singh

The whirlwind one-day drive lasted for 16 hours

Chandigarh, October 18:With a view to further improve the Emergency health care services at government health institutions across the state, the director, health and family welfare Dr Manjit Singh paid surprise visits to various government hospitals in four districts and gave necessary instructions to the health officials.

In a press communiqué, the newly appointed director Dr Manjit Singh informed that on the directives of the Health and Family welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu, the inspection was carried out at District Hospitals (DH) in Ropar, SBS Nagar, Hoshiarpur and Pathankot and Sub-Divisional hospitals (SDH) in Garhshankar, Mukerian, Dasuha, Balachaur during a whirlwind one-day drive yesterday.

“We examined the Emergency medical facilities being provided to the people and also checked the availability of essential medicines and medical equipment especially in Emergency and Mother and Child Hospital (MCH) wards. We also monitored the sampling process for Covid-19 testing at various hospitals. The drive lasted for around 16 hours.’ said Dr Manjit Singh. He added that patients and their attendants were enquired about treatment facilities being provided in the hospitals. ‘During the drive, a few lapses were found at some places which will be removed on priority basis and necessary instructions have been issued in this regard.” said he. During the inspection, he directed the doctors that all the medical equipment must be functional and if any fault occurs, then it should be rectified immediately. He said that his goal is to provide the best Emergency services in the state which requires the cooperation and support of all the health staff. He said that all the essential medicines should be available in the Emergency ward and attendants of the patients should not be asked to bring the same from the market. Dr Manjit Singh said that any laxity in medical facilities being provided to the people will not be tolerated at any cost. He also directed to further improve cleanliness arrangements in hospital premises and wards.

Dr Manjit Singh asked doctors to have a cordial relation with patients and not to react sharply even when unpleasant situations emerge at times. He said the doctor-patient relationship is very important as good relationship between the doctor and patient will lead to frequent, quality information about the patient's disease and better health care for the patient. He said better results would be achieved if doctors would empathise with patients. Patients should be satisfied with the treatment being provided. During the drive, he was accompanied by Dr Harminderjeet Singh Cheema and Health inspector Bhupinder Singh Dahri.