A bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws, against which farmers have been protesting for over a year, was passed by both the Houses of Parliament within minutes of introduction on Monday. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar introduced The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 shortly afternoon on the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament.
The bill was passed within four minutes in Lok Sabha- it was tabled at 12:06 pm and passed by 12:10 pm, and a similar scenario was noticed in the upper house. The opposition sought a debate on the bill and came to the well of the House raising slogans and banners. Speaker Om Birla said that he was ready for the debate provided there is order in the House.
As the opposition continued the protests, the Speaker announced the passage of the bill after a voice vote.
The opposition passed the bill without any discussion and Congress slammed the Centre over the same. When the three farm bills were passed in 2020, the opposition had accused the government of ramming it through without much discussion. The opposition alleged that the government wanted to avoid facing questions on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s u-turn on the bills just before polls.
“We demanded a discussion on the repeal Bill to speak about the Lakhimpur Kheri incident and orders. Without discussion the Bill has been passed," said Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, referring to the violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 when protesting farmers were run over allegedly by an SUV driven by a Union Minister’s son.
The opposition referred to PM Modi’s words just before the session started, that the government was ready to reply to all questions.
“We welcome withdrawal of the three farm laws. We demanded a discussion on several incidents that took place during agitation including the Lakhimpur Kheri incident & the electricity bill. Farmers are still present at the protest site," LoP in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told ANI.
Congress’ Shashi Tharoor also objected strongly to the government’s conduct and told NDTV, “What they did is wrong. We wanted to raise the farmers’ demand for a law guaranteeing Minimum Support Price (MSP) and compensation for farmers who died during protests. But the government denied us that chance."
“This government doesn’t want discussion. They have problem with debate," said Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation, had announced that the laws will be repealed. Various farmer groups have been protesting against the laws for more than a year and many farmers have also lost their lives during the protests.