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Rajya Sabha passes controversial farm bills amid ruckus

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  • PM Modi hailed the passing of the two farm bills as a “watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture”

The Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two controversial farm bills through voice voting amid ruckus created by the Opposition and countrywide protests of farmers. The bills include Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

The two bills have been already cleared by the Lok Sabha on Thursday and now the bills will be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent.

The opposition claimed the government did not have the numbers and to cover it up, all rules were violated.

In the morning, while introducing the bill, the government had said the bills are “historic” and will bring a change in the lives of the farmers.

Ruckus in Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha witnessed chaotic scenes after Opposition MPs lead by the Trinamool Congress climbed on to the chairperson’s podium demanding a discussion.

Several members, including O’Brien, the CPI’s KK Ragesh, Trichi Siva of the DMK and Congress’ KC Venugopal, moved resolutions asking for the two bills to be sent a select committee of the House for consideration before they are taken up for passage. However, the demand was rejected by the Upper House’s deputy chairman Harivash Singh.

As the commotion caused by the Opposition continued in the chambers and galleries of the Rajya Sabha, as well as in the chamber of the Lok Sabha, where some Upper House members sit, the House was adjourned for a few minutes.

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When the Rajya Sabha reconvened at 1:41, deputy chairman Harivansh put the contentious bills to vote. A voice vote was held and the bills were eventually passed.

What did Derek O’Brien said?

The TMC leader, who strongly opposed the farm bills, alleged: “Rajya Sabha TV was censured. We have the footage of what happened inside. It was a historic day, in the worst sense of the word. Do not spread propaganda that I tore up a rulebook. It is all rubbish. We have all the footage, and at the right time, we will send it out.”

Watershed moment, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the passing of the farm bills as a “watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture”.

He tweeted: “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 also said: “Our agriculture sector is in desperate need of latest technology that assists the industrious farmers. Now, with the passage of the bills, our farmers will have easier access to futuristic technology that will boost production and yield better results. This is a welcome step.”

The PM added: “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 the income of farmers and ensure greater prosperity for them.”

 

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