New Delhi: MPs of the ruling and Opposition parties remained deadlocked on Tuesday on the issue of the three contentious farm laws and did not let Parliament function even as the government, which has taken a hard stand against the ongoing protests, said that it will not give compensation to the families of farmers who have died during the ongoing agitation against the new farm laws.
In a written reply to a question in Parliament, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that during discussion with farmers’ unions the government had “appealed many times that children and elders including women should be requested to go home in view of the cold and Covid situation and other hardships.” He, however, informed the Lower House that the government is negotiating with the farmer unions.
In Rajya Sabha, Opposition MPs staged a walkout demanding a discussion exclusively on the farmers issues, and in Lok Sabha, MPs rushed to the Well of the House demanding that the three laws be scrapped, forcing the House to be adjourned twice before finally being adjourned for the day.
Minutes after proceedings began in Lok Sabha, Congress MPs, terming the three laws as “anti-farmer”, walked to the Well of the House asking the government to withdraw these laws. They were soon joined by TMC MPs Kalyan Banerjee and Saugata Roy. SAD MP and former minister in NDA government Harsimrat Kaur too stood in protest holding a placard.
Despite Speaker Om Birla’s request to raise these issues during Question Hour, sloganeering continued, forcing the adjournment. Later, at 7 pm, when the House resumed, Om Birla asked BJP member Locket Chatterjee to initiate the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address amid sloganeering by the Opposition members. However, Opposition members continued to protest.
In Rajya Sabha, Opposition parties had given notice under rule 267, calling for the suspension of business of the day to discuss the ongoing agitation by farmers on Delhi borders. These parties included the Congress, TMC, CPI, CPI, NCP and RSP.
Rejecting their demand, chairman of the Rajya Sabha, M. Venkaiah Naidu, said that the issue can be raised during the discussion on motion of thanks to the President’s address. The President, he said, had referred to the farmer’s agitation.
Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the farmers have been camping for more than two months and the issue needs to be discussed. Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) said the House is not aware of what is going on between the government and farmers and should discuss the issue separately from the Motion of Thanks. “We want a discussion on a specific issue,” he said. While CPI leader Elamaram Kareem said water and electricity supply to the protest sites has been cut, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva said farmers have been sitting on roads for over two months in the bitter cold and the issue needs to be discussed separately.
After this the Opposition walked out. When the House reconvened, the Opposition members rushed to the Well of the House demanding a discussion and the House was adjourned twice for one hour each and was finally adjourned for the day.
The Opposition is insistent that a specific time be allocated for discussion on the farmers’ issue and should not be clubbed with the motion of thanks on the President’s address.