India passes farm bills amid uproar by opposition in parliament

Indian lawmakers pass farm bills amid uproar in Parliament

Indian lawmakers pass farm bills amid uproar in Parliament

"I feel that the Bills are in the right direction for the progress of farmers and Indian agriculture and food economy.We need private sector investments in technology and infrastructure upgradation for Indian agriculture to realise its full potential, integrate and compete better in the global marketplace", said Chaudhry. Two MLAs from the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), which is part of the BJP-led ruling coalition in Haryana, also participated in the protests, reflecting a rift on the issue among their ranks on the issue.

Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two key farm bills amid a bedlam as opposition members charged towards the podium of the presiding officer, flung the rule book at him, tore official papers and heckled him over their demand for a division of vote.

He also said that the bill is discriminatory since there is no specific provision on women's welfare. "They should've at least condemned the practice by Deputy Chairman", said Congress' K.C. Venugopal.

Traffic was also disrupted on Ambala-Chandigarh highway due to the protests by the Punjab Youth Congress activists.

But the spot was heavily barricaded by police, who also used water cannons to disperse the protesters.

While major opposition parties are against the bills, the government has been maintaining that the proposed legislations will help small and marginal farmers secure competitive prices for their produce.

The Minister said, these Bills give the freedom to the farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country as per the price determined between the seller and buyers. The policy insures farmers against any sharp fall in prices of their agricultural produce. "They (BJP and its allies) clearly don't care for what these laws will do to the farmers", he said, flaying the BJP-led government for "selling" farmers' interests to big corporates.

Nowhere in the new farm reforms there is any talk of abolishing the crop MSP, he told reporters. CPI (M) MP K.K. Ragesh demanded the withdrawal of the Bills alleging that it is in the favor of corporate as bargaining power will be with them not with the farmers.

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He said it is to be seen in the days ahead how the market forces play out and whether the farmer is able to actually benefit from the changes as envisaged by these Bills.

The Code on Wages Bill, 2019 was passed by Parliament a year ago. He called it a murder of democracy. Did the government fulfil the promise to double the farmers' incomes? "Farmers have broken his arrogance", Jakhar said.

Initiating the discussion from the Opposition, Punjab Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa said the bills were "ill-conceived and ill-timed". The SAD has pulled out of the Union government in protest against the bills.

Joining the tractor rally, Indian Youth Congress president Srinivas B V said his party stands shoulder to shoulder with the farmers. This government wants to destroy 80 crore families.

Earlier, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) leader N K Premachandran opposed withdrawal of three bills which the new draft legislations replace.

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020, The Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 have already been passed by the Lok Sabha.

The Punjab Youth Congress also started a "tractor rally" from Punjab to Delhi against the three farm bills.

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