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    Rajya Sabha passes two farm bills by voice vote amid opposition protests

    Synopsis

    Deputy Chairperson Harivansh was in the Chair when the debate on the two Bills- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, 2020 and the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020- drew to a close. The first point of friction between the Chair and the Opposition was over extension of the session was beyond 1 PM.

    Massive ruckus in Rajya Sabha over Farm Bills: Rule book torn, DY Chairman's mike also pulled down
    New Delhi: The two controversial farm Bills that have divided the polity and led NDA partner SAD to quit the Narendra Modi government were passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday amid a major ruckus by the Opposition members who trooped into the Well of the House, shouted slogans, tore the rule book and damaged the presiding officer’s mike to register their protest.

    Deputy Chairperson Harivansh was in the Chair when the debate on the two Bills- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020- drew to a close. The first point of friction between the Chair and the Opposition was over extension of the session was beyond 1 PM. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said this decision is always taken with consensus and the House should pass the Bills on Monday.

    Harivansh decided to continue with the proceedings, leading members from Congress, TMC, DMK, AAP and others to troop into the Well of the House. The Deputy Chairperson first took up the motion for sending the two Bills to a Select Committee of the House which was moved by KK Ragesh (CPI-M), Derek O’Brien, Tiruchi Siva (DMK) and others. However, he did not seek a vote on the resolution and moved on to put the Bills to vote.

    Angered at this, O’Brien tore a copy of the House rule book infront of the Deputy Chairperson while other members raised slogans against the government. At least six Marshals rushed to the Chair and tried to stop the members from reaching the Deputy Chairperson. The protestors damaged the presiding officer’s mike. Opposition members seated in the galleries also shouted slogans.

    This was the first instance of a protest in the Well of the House in the monsoon session that is being held in the midst of the Covid pandemic where social distancing norms have been enforced.

    Harivansh had to stop the proceedings though the House continued to be in session. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, followed by union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and then Bhupendra Yadav (BJP) went to the Chair to advise him on next course of action. After 25 minutes, he adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

    The Opposition continued with the protest in the Well of the House and some members tried to stop the Deputy Chairperson but were prevented by the marshals. The two Bills were passed by a voice vote in the din.

    The protesting members sat in the Well for nearly an hour after the House was adjourned for the day.

    Later, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu held a meeting with Harivansh and Pralhad Joshi at his residence to discuss the disruption in the House and the likely action to be taken against the members.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi again came out in support of the two Bills after the day’s proceedings. “A watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture! Congratulations to our hardworking farmers on the passage of key bills in Parliament, which will ensure a complete transformation of the agriculture sector as well as empower crores of farmers,” he said.
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    54 Comments on this Story

    A.Jay35 days ago
    Utterly disgusting how these elected M.P,s behaved in the upper House. They guys should be ashamed of themselves for having lowered the dignity of the house.
    The speaker is absolutly right in suspending these unrully guys from the house.
    Gopal Sriniwasan35 days ago
    If one reads the bill between the lines, prima facia it appears to be a momentous document, a watershed law which benefits the small and medium-sized farmers.
    But, in the larger context, although the nexus of the middlemen and the APMC seems to be broken, it is now replaced by the corporatisation of agriculture and there is no guarantee that the corporate buyers of farm produce will have the interest of the farmers, except in terms of pure market economics.
    The traditional and the age-old relationship between the farmer, middlemen and the Mandi Bosses is completely made defunct
    Under the prevailing system, there was a nexus to the regional political party funding by the control of APMC trade and the middlemen who also filled up the regional party coffers, the new law serves a death blow to all the vested interests as well as the regional political party funding.
    In the name of the agricultural revolution, it is the BJP as a political party which is solely having the last laugh in raising party funds even from the agriculturists.
    nawalkhapldr35 days ago
    Well done. If you defer work on flimsy grounds,you can not work
    The Economic Times