Mic broken, papers thrown: Amid major ruckus, two farm bills passed in Rajya Sabha


Indian Express

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Mic broken, papers thrown: Amid major ruckus, two farm bills passed in Rajya Sabha

The ruckus erupted after Deputy Chairman Harivansh sought the members’ nod to extend the time of sitting of the House beyond 1 pm till the passage of the Bills, against which the opposition MPs protested.

New Delhi: TMC MP Derek O’Brien attempts to tear the rule book as ruckus erupts in the Rajya Sabha over agriculture related bills, during the ongoing Monsoon Session, at Parliament House in New Delhi, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (RSTV/PTI Photo)

The Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two contentious farm bills — The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020— amid a major ruckus by opposition parties.

The Bills, which seek to replace the two ordinances promulgated on June 5 this year and which were already cleared by the Lok Sabha, were passed by voice vote in the Upper House.

The House witnessed tumultuous scenes during the passage of the contentious farm bills as members from Opposition parties snatched and threw papers from the table and even broke the chairman’s mic.
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While the opposition has been protesting and demanding that the Bills be sent to a Select Committee, the ruckus erupted after Deputy Chairman Harivansh sought the members’ nod to extend the time of sitting of the House beyond 1 pm till the passage of the Bills. The opposition members demanded that the House be adjourned as per the scheduled time.

However, the Deputy Chairman continued with the proceedings of the House and asked Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to continue his response to the debate on the Bills.

At this point of time, Opposition members started protesting against the Deputy Chairman’s decision to extend the timing without a “consensus” of the House.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the extension should be on the basis of the consensus not on the basis of the ruling party’s number. He added that the House should be adjourned and the Bills should be passed tomorrow.

When the Deputy Speaker did not accept the demand to adjourn the House, some of the opposition members arrived at the well and began snatching and throwing away papers from the table. Some of the members even broke the mic that was fixed on the table of the chair. Due to this, the House could not function properly and was adjourned for 15 minutes.

After the House resumed at 1:40 pm again, the Deputy Speaker took up statutory resolutions moved by the opposition members, seeking the reference of the Bills to a Select Committee. However, these resolutions were negated by the House.

Meanwhile, the opposition members surrounded the well again and started sloganeering.

In the midst of the uproar, the Rajya Sabha took up the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, clause by clause, into consideration and passed by a voice vote.

Soon after this, the second farm bill– The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020—was also passed.

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