Opposition stages walkout in protest against farm bills
September 23 2020 01:29 AM
A member of the Youth Congress is detained by police during a protest against the passing of new farm bills, in New Delhi yesterday.

IANS/New Delhi

Opposition members, including from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and the Trinamool Congress yesterday boycotted the Lok Sabha and walked out of the lower house of parliament demanding withdrawal of controversial farm bills.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury urged the government to withdraw the bills which were passed by the upper house Rajya Sabha on Sunday despite objection raised by the opposition.
“Since 2014, you (the Bharatiya Janata Party) are in power. India’s farmers, labour and unemployed people have been passing through the worst phase...You passed the bills here and snatched our right in other house. Nothing can happen without the order of the government. We are standing in the support of our members in the other house. We opposition members are boycotting the house proceedings. You compel us to boycott the house,” Chowdhury said.
Later almost the whole opposition walked out after Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar accused the Congress of spreading rumours against the government.
The minister said that Minimum Support Price (MSP) will continue and the whole country knows how the government in 2018 increased the MSP by 1.5 times the production cost, after a recommendation of the National Commission of Farmers.
Tomar said the Congress failed to implement the reforms for the welfare of the farmers when it was in power but now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has managed to do it, they are scared of losing farmers’ support and are spreading such rumours.
Cutting across party lines, the Trinamool Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party also supported the Congress with leaders Kalyan Banerjee and Ritesh Pandey echoing on the subject.
Thousands of farmers in Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been staging protests since the government introduced the bills in parliament.
Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Akali Dal resigned from the government, hours ahead of voting in the Loka Sabha on the bills on September 17.
Meanwhile, Indian Youth Congress (IYC) workers staged a protest outside Parliament House.
They were detained by police.
Hundreds of IYC activists led by its president Srinivas B V staged the protest against rising unemployment among the youth and the “anti-farmer” bills.
“The government is anti-youth and anti-farmer,” Srinivas said.
He accused Modi of suppressing the voice of the countrymen to benefit a few of his industrialist friends.

Last updated: September 23 2020 01:32 AM

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