The Central government shepherded its 2 farm bills through the Rajya Sabha on Sunday despite charged emotions and cries of dictatorship from the Opposition for the government’s decision to move ahead with the bills after key allies warned it against it.
The Farmers’ and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 were passed by a voice vote. The two bills were already passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday. The bills will now be sent to President Ramnath Kovind for assent.
The Opposition demanded that the bills be sent to a select committee for further discussion. Trinamool Congress member Derek O’Brien is said to have torn the Rajya Sabha rulebook after the voice vote was called for instead of a division of votes.
The TMC MP called the passing of the bill as the brutal murder of parliamentary democracy. He rushed to the well of the house to register his protest against the Centre, which led to a 10-minute adjournment of the house.
While BJP president JP Nadda condemned the behaviour of MPs, the Opposition was particularly upset at the government’s unwillingness to refer the bills to a select committee and steamrolling them through the House.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in a series of tweets, applauded the government for the passage of the bills and said that India has cemented a strong foundation for agriculture.
Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur had resigned her Cabinet post on Thursday when it looked imminent that the Lok Sabha will pass the bills.
The Jannayak Janata Party, which extends support to the BJP government in Haryana, had also sought more consultation.