New Delhi September 21st
Two key farm bills were on Sunday passed by Rajya Sabha with voice vote amid unprecedented unruly scenes by protesting opposition members. After a heated debate, Rajya Sabha passed the two bills amid a bedlam as some opposition members, ignoring the Covid-19 protocol, charged towards the podium of Deputy Chairman Harivansh, flung the rule book at him and tore official papers. They yanked his microphone and heckled him over their demand for a division of vote on their motion to refer the legislation to a select committee.
Twelve Opposition parties later also gave a notice for a no-confidence motion against the Deputy Chairman over the manner in which two farm Bills were passed in the Upper House. The Congress and other opposition parties slammed the bills as “death warrants” of farmers, and called it a “black day for democracy”.
Hitting back, the top brass of the central government flayed the opposition over its members’ “unruly conduct” in Rajya Sabha, calling it “extremely shameful” and unprecedented in Parliament’s history. Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar, Pralhad Joshi, Piyush Goyal, Thawarchand Gehlot and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi held a press conference where they took on the opposition, with Singh asserting that such conduct was not expected in a healthy democracy.
Farmers in states like Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against these bills, with their leaders alleging that the legislations will dismantle the existing system and leave them to the mercy of corporate interests.