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Farmer issue rocks Parliament, govt says ready for discussion

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: February 02, 2021 23:32 IST
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The government on Tuesday asserted in Lok Sabha that it was ready to discuss issues related to farmers both inside and outside Parliament amid vociferous protests by the Opposition which forced repeated adjournments of both the Houses.


IMAGE: Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar at Parliament House during the ongoing Budget Session, in New Delhi, on Tuesday. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on Tuesday without transacting substantial business as the Congress and other opposition members created an uproar demanding discussion on the issue of farmers' protest over the three new farm laws.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told Lok Sabha after the first adjournment that the Modi government is always committed to discuss the farmer issues.

"Government is ready to discuss issues related to farmers inside and outside Parliament," he said amid sloganeering by opposition members.

Tomar's reply came after Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that 170 farmers have died during the ongoing agitation against the three contentious farm laws.

"Atrocities are being committed on farmers. Situation is similar to British rule," Chowdhury alleged.

Rajya Sabha was first adjourned for about 40 minutes till 10.30 am, then till 11.30 am and then to 12.30 pm.

After the President's Address to both Houses of Parliament on Friday and presentation of the Union Budget on Monday, Tuesday was the first regular sitting of Parliament.

When the upper house re-assembled at 12:30 pm, protesting members again trooped into the Well raising slogans, forcing Deputy Chairman Harivansh to adjourn proceedings for the day.

In Lok Sabha, opposition members mainly from the Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Trinamool Congress rushed to the Well of the House demanding repeal of the three 'black' laws.

Members of the Shiv Sena were seen raising slogans from the aisles.

IMAGE: MPs from Punjab hold placards during their protest against the new farm laws, at Parliament House in New Delhi, on Tuesday. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

Former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal was also seen holding a poster demanding repeal of the contentious agriculture legislations.

Speaker Om Birla urged the members to return to their seats and follow the COVID-19 protocol.

He said that in the ongoing Question Hour, questions related to farmers were listed and members can raise their issues at that time.

He also said during the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the president's address, members can raise these issues. But opposition members refused to relent.

The lower house was adjourned due to disruptions at around 4.10 pm, 5 pm and for the day a little after 7 pm.

In Rajya Sabha, four bills were listed for consideration and passing in the legislative business for the day.

These were: The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020; The National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019; The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020; and The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020.

When Lok Sabha reassembled at 7 pm, Speaker Om Birla asked Bharatiya Janata Party member Locket Chatterjee to initiate the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address amid sloganeeering by the opposition members.

Chatterjee began her speech by praising the government for deciding to celebrate the birthday of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on January 23 as 'Parakram Diwas' every year.

The member from the poll-bound state of West Bengal continued her address amid the din.

After repeated appeals by the speaker and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi failed to calm the agitated members, Birla adjourned the House for the day.

IMAGE: Opposition leaders walkout from Rajya Sabha amid their protest over the farm laws during the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on Tuesday. Photograph: RSTV/PTI Photo

Joshi sad the debate on the Motion of Thanks has never seen disruptions and what the opposition was doing was 'not fair'.

In Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the farmers have been camping on Delhi's borders for more than two months and the issue needs to be discussed.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (Trinamool Congress) said the House is not aware of what is going on between the government and farmers and the House should discuss the issue separately from the Motion of Thanks.

"We want a discussion on a specific issue," he said.

While Communist Party India-Marxist leader Elamaram Kareem said water and electricity supplies to the farmer protest sites have been cut, DMK's Tiruchi Siva said farmers have been sitting on roads for over two months in the cold and the issue needs to be discussed separately.

Manoj Jha (Rashtriya Janata Dal) said Parliament should at least discuss the issue.

However, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not agree to their motion after which the members of Congress, Left parties, TMC, DMK and RJD staged a walkout.

Several farmers unions have been staging protests for over 70 days now on various border points of Delhi demanding the repeal of the farm laws.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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