Article 1 in the Constitution states that India shall be a Union of States and to that extent, the Constitution through the Article 246 in the Seventh Schedule delegates the power to legislate, between the Union and the State by classifying the powers into
- Union List – Center has exclusive powers to make laws
- State List – States have exclusive powers to make laws
- Concurrent List – On which both centre and state can make laws and as stated above, the central law prevails over the state in cases of repugnancy.
However, the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution has seen a number of amendments. The Union List and the Concurrent List have expanded while subjects under the State List have gradually shrunk.
In the context of the 3 farm bills, Entry 14 and Entry 28 in the State list give the power to legislate Agriculture, Market and its related laws exclusively to the states.
Some insights into why and how Article 246 was conceived :
As stated by States Re-organisation Committee, one of the various commissions and committed set up for the Centre-state relation, stated- “It is the Union of India which is the basis of our nationality… States are but limbs of the Union, and while we recognize that the be healthy and strong… it is the strength and stability of the Union and it’s capacity to develop and evolve that should be governing consideration of all changes in the country.” Even Dr. Shayama Prasad Mookharjee and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar argued that a strong Centre was in India’s paramount interest. It is also significant to quote Justice P.N. Sapru, “our founding fathers wisely did not establish for this country a completely unitary sovereignty among various units composing it. Any such attempt would have completely broken down, as India is too vast a country to be governed as a completely unitary state.”These twain concepts of centralization and de-centralization are ensured by concurrent list as while preserving the national interest, it also protects the interest of the states by providing flexibility as the laws made in the interest of the nations can be modified as suited to the needs of the state – (source: https://blog.ipleaders.in/article-246-of-indian-constitution/)