‘Death warrants against farmers’: Rahul Gandhi slams Modi govt over passage of two key farm bills

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Updated: September 21, 2020 12:23 PM

The two farm bills were passed on Sunday amid uproar in the Rajya Sabha by the opposition.

Rahul Gandhi slams passage of form bills.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has slammed the Modi government over the passage of two farm bills in the Rajya Sabha. Rahul said that democracy has been shamed by the manner in which the government issued ‘death warrants’ against farmers by passing two bills related to the agriculture sector.

“The farmers grow gold from land, but the arrogance of the Modi government is making farmers shed tears of blood,” he tweeted in Hindi after the Rajya Sabha passed two bills on Sunday — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and he Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. The bills were approved by the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

“Democracy has been shamed by the manner in which the government passed death warrants against farmers in the form of two farm bills in Rajya Sabha,” he added.

The two bills were passed amid an uproar by the opposition. When the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar was replying to the discussion, Deputy Chairman Harivansh sought the consent of the House to extend the proceedings till the Minister’s reply. But the Congress, TMC, Left, DMK and AAP MPs demanded that the House be adjourned and the reply be taken up the next day.

However, the Deputy Chairman asked the Minister to continue with his reply. This prompted opposition MPs to enter the Well and raise slogans against the government. The House then witnessed unruly scenes with some opposition members climbing on to the Chairman’ podium. The bills were eventually passed by voice vote.

The opposition members were demanding that the bills be sent to the Select Committee, terming it ‘anti-farmer’. The opposition has alleged that the government is trying to hand over the farm sector to corporates and that farmers will not get a suitable price for their produce.

Reacting to the proceedings in the House, the Congress accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy in the passage of the contentious farm bills in Rajya Sabha. The party said that September 20 will be remembered as a ‘black day’ for parliamentary democracy.

KC Venugopal, party’s general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, termed as ‘very unfortunate’ Union minister Rajnath Singh supporting the proceedings to pass bills. He said that the government ignored the voice of the opposition and their rights in demanding division of votes.

“At least they should have condemned the practice. The entire episode was a conspiracy built by the BJP leadership. They want to suppress the voice of the farmers and they want to bulldoze and anti-farmer bills,” he said.

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