“A Sad Day for Democracy”: Politicians on RS Passing Farm Bills
PM Modi referred to the passing of the Bills as a “watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture”.
Two of the three farm Bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, 20 September, by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, amid massive protests by farmers across Haryana. The passing of the Bills also witnessed a ruckus in Parliament as opposition parties criticised the move.
On the other hand, while moving the Bills in the Rajya Sabha, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the minimum support price or MSP-based procurement of agriculture crops from farmers will continue and is not related to the farm Bills.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to refer to the passing of the Bills as a “watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture”.
Further, PM Modi said:
“For decades, the Indian farmer was bound by various constraints and bullied by middlemen. The bills passed by Parliament liberate the farmers from such adversities. These bills will add impetus to the efforts to double income of farmers and ensure greater prosperity for them.”
He also asserted that the system of MSP will remain, government procurement will continue and that the government is “here to serve our farmers.”
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, on his part, asserted that they have merely done what the Congress had earlier promised to do. He further said that the Congress party was, therefore, being hypocritical.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal, on Sunday, wrote to the President of India asking him to not sign the Bills, saying: “Democracy means consensus, not oppression”.
“A sad day for democracy indeed if it leads to 'annadata' starving or sleep on roads,” Badal further added.
SAD leader and former Union Cabinet Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal had on Friday resigned from the government, saying that “farmers and SAD are synonymous”.
Congress Opposes Bills
Congress President Rahul Gandhi had earlier in the day taken to Twitter to slam the Bills as “anti-agriculture” and ask how will MSP be received if APMC is finished.
He had further alleged that PM Modi is making farmers ‘slaves of the capitalists’.
Following the verdict, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter to say:
“All parties including the BJP had agreed to a 4-hour discussion on the 2 farm Bills in the Rajya Sabha. This was unilaterally cut short by the government’s floor managers by almost 45 minutes. This was the starting point for chaos in the Parliament this afternoon.”
Ramesh also said that the deputy chairman had been “a bitter critic of PM, until his party abandoned the grand alliance in Bihar. Since then he has become an unthinking rubberstamp in the important position he occupies.”
TMC, AAP React Sharply
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, criticising Centre said that the government was orchestrating a “food pandemic.”
“When a division was asked for as per Parliamentary rules, the BJP due to having less members present, resorted to violence to pass agriculture bills. Central Govt took power of states to regulate prices for farmers and are orchestrating 'food-pandemic,” she added.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien, who had during the Rajya Sabha session, entered the well of the house and showed the House rule book to Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, took to Twitter to allege: “Today BJP tried to break the back of yet another great institution of our democracy, the Parliament…Basic rights of MPs guaranteed by Constitution snatched.”
He had also tweeted a video alleging that the Opposition was denied a division vote on farm Bills.
Earlier in the day, Aam Aadmi Party, too had tweeted a video opposing the farm Bills.
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